The Production Team

Adam Chapman - Chief Winemaker

My career in winemaking is now well over 30 vintages both in Australia and overseas. I have made wine in the Barossa, Hunter Valley, Granite Belt and South Burnett in Australia; Ardeche, Tournus, Pomerol and St Emilion in France. Armed with wine qualifications from Melbourne University, AWRI and WSET, I have worked with many different grapes varieties, trellis designs, weather changes, soil types, winemaking styles over the years influencing my current winemaking style at Sirromet.

I am extremely proud of what my team and I have achieved with over 800 wine medals over the last 15 years both in Australia and overseas, building the brand from scratch with new vineyards and new winery.

Outside of work, I love mountain biking with mates and my son. I am pretty handy with power tools and a nail bag, love the odd glass of wine from anywhere and any style. I’m also fascinated with left field Rums from Columbia and Venezuela. I am married to my beautiful Icelandic wife and we have 3 great kids.

Jessica Ferguson - Chemist & Assistant Winemaker

I joined the Sirromet team in 2005, with 10 years’ previous experience as an industrial chemist (aka “lab nerd”). I never thought I’d end up in winemaking, but once I arrived here, I never looked back. I started out running the winery lab and worked my way up to “Right-Hand-Man” to Chief Winemaker Adam Chapman. Adam’s a bit like a “loud” older brother sometimes, but he’s a great winemaking teacher and mentor.

This job is never boring – seeing new vintage whites fermenting never gets old, and blending 1-year-old reds out of oak is always challenging. At the end of vintage we’re all exhausted but it’s worth it!

High points along the way – the 5-Star James Halliday rating, and being recently awarded Dux of the 35th AWRI Advanced Wine Assessment Course in Adelaide. (However, I still can’t make coffee.)

Glen Eaton - Cellarhand

As part of the winery team, I’m involved with all aspects of wine production from grape to bottling. Luckily, I quite like the drop!

In my previous career I was a professional shooter (with a camera, naturally. Say cheese!) but was influenced to make a life-changing decision after spending time in Italy a few years ago. I’m now taking steps towards my new career in winemaking.

Although purple stained hands are now part of life, it’s rewarding seeing a wine develop and take shape from start to finish –  knowing I have played an important part along the way.  My position as Chief Coffee Brewer is also critical to team morale, apparently…

Samantha Gray - Cellarhand

I started my working life in law offices, progressing to a senior legal PA in one of London’s large media law firms.  My next adventure was full-time motherhood, an experience which enhanced my existing passion for wine.

In 2012 I took this passion a step further and commenced a wine science degree at USQ.  I moved to the Granite Belt to work at Summit Estate and the following year landed a cellarhand job at Sirromet.

During vintage I was the “queen of the crusher”, but I’m yet to work out how to NOT get covered in red wine when digging out a fermenter. I love the sights, smells and tastes of vintage, not to mention a rewarding glass of wine after a long day processing those miraculous little berries.

Mark Barnsdale - Bottling Manager

I have been the Bottling Manager at Sirromet wines since 2003. I am Canadian born but hooked up with a sweet looking Aussie Sheila and here I am living and enjoying the lifestyle of Australia.

My claim to fame? I survived a Sasquatch attack while camping in my younger years back home. I was heating wine over an open fire (and having more than my fair share), there was commotion in the bush behind me which sent me in to flight. I ended up in the middle of the river in my canoe the night, and still swear it was a Sasquatch on my tail… or my older brother, he is very hairy.

I didn’t think back then that I would be working in the wine industry but I am loving every minute and enjoying this great lifestyle that comes with it!

Robyn Robertson - Viticulturist & Vineyard Manager

I have been working for Sirromet for 16 years – from the very beginning. Terry Morris purchased the Seven Scenes property from my parents and inherited me by default – I think I was part of the furniture.

After becoming Vineyard Manager 5 years ago, I have worked closely with Chief Winemaker Adam Chapman to make many improvements in our maturing vineyards and we are producing some outstanding wines.

The best part of this job is being part of a great team and a fantastic company, makes it definitely worth putting up with those sub-zero winter mornings in Ballandean. A highlight was achieving five stars from James Halliday – great winemaking begins in the vineyard and it shows all our hard work has paid off.

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