img_mike_cellarMike Hayes is third generation viticulturalist and winemaker. He has made wines on the Granite Belt and in various wine regions around Australia and New Zealand for over 30 years. Mike is known for his passion for integrating viticultural and winemaking techniques. His passion for wine has no bounds with a special place in his heart for the “heart break” grape, pinot noir.

Mike Hayes was born on the 21st of May 1964 at Stanthorpe hospital. The youngest of 9 children and a 3rd generation Ballandean-ite. Mike left school in 1979 and started in the wine industry on a chipping hoe for 7 months in a vineyard. Mike has worked in 16 regions, 4 states and 2 countries in the wine industry and he has been involved with all aspects of the industry including winemaking, viticulture, lecturing, wine marketing, import and export, retail, promotions and consulting. Mike started his consulting business 18 years ago and has designed over 90 vineyards in QLD and NSW.

Mike’s proudest achievements have been making our Reserve Shiraz which has won top gold at both Sydney and Melbourne Royal Wine shows. The wine was finalist for Best Shiraz Trophy and Best Single Vineyard Wine Trophy at 2011 Royal Melbourne. Mike has been with the company since day 1 when he planted the vines and is an important ingredient for our success. When making wine, he blends old world techniques and traditions with new world state of the art technology. His invaluable experience in growing winegrapes in our unique climate is essential to producing the best fruit, in order to make the best wine. Mike shares our firm belief that great wine is made in the vineyard.

In 2012 Mike was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to research alternative varieties in Europe that would suit Granite Belt conditions. He also completed a Masters in Professional Studies specialising in Viticulture and a WSET (Wine and Spirit Education Trust) Advanced Level 3 Certificate in Wine Education which qualifies him world wide to teach about wine to sommeliers. Mike heads up our contract winemaking arm which has resulted in 15 trophies, 19 gold (over 11 varieties), 27 silver and over 70 bronze medals over the last 12 months.

Winemaking Awards

  • Ron Noakes Memorial Trophy for the Districts Competition 2010 Royal Sydney Wine Show (Best 5 wines)
  • Gold Medals for Symphony Hill Wines Reserve Shiraz Top Gold 2003,2006 Royal Sydney Wine Show
  • Top Gold for 2008 Reserve Shiraz Royal Melbourne Wine Show – Nominated for 2 trophies (Best Rhone Style Red, Douglas Seabrook Trophy for Best Single Vineyard Wine
  • 5 Stars James Halliday for Symphony Hill Wines 2013 (4 stars or better for over 50 wines over last 5 years)
  • 5 Times Most Successful Exibitors at Wine Shows
  • Champion Other Red Varietal 2013 Wine Wise Awards, Symphony Hill Reserve Petit Vedot 2009
  • Champion other White Varietal 2012 Toppers Mountain WinesWine Gerwurztraminer Wise Awards 2012
  • 3 successive Most Successful Exhibitors Royal Brisbane 2010,2011.2012 – Symphony Hill Wines
  • Most Successful Exhibitor New England Wine Show 2011 (6 Gold, 4 Trophies – Toppers Mountain)
  • Gold Medal Symphony Hill Wines Shiraz Viognier 2011 Royal Brisbane Wine Show
  • Gold Medal Symphony Hill Wines Gerwurztraminer Royal Brisbane Wine Show 2010
  • Top wine of the show on 6 occasions (Nebbiolo,Petit Verdot, Tempranillo (twice),
  • Gerwurztraminer (twice)
  • Australian Boutique Wine Awards 2012 Best Red Blend (Toppers Red Earth Child 2009)
  • Top Gold and 4 Trophies New England Wine Show 2012 Symphony Hill Wines Reserve Petit Verdot
  • Top Gold 2 trophies 20007 New England Wine Show Drs. Nose Tempranillo 2006
  • 4 gold Medals at National Wine Shows
  • Australian Small Winemakers Show Most Successful Exhibitor 2011
  • Toppers Mountain Wines – 4.5 Stars James Halliday 2013
  • Mike also worked at Robinsons Family Vineyards in the early 1980s and helped to make over 26 trophies and 30 Gold medals in 5 years.
  • Australian Vintages Top 100 Wines – 2 wines ( Verdelho , Reserve Shiraz) Rob Geddes MW -5 stars Reserve Shiraz and Verdelho
  • Trophy Best Queensland White Wine 2011 ASWS Girrawheen Chardonnay 2011
  • 2004 Best Queensland Red Wine -2003 Symphony Hill Wines Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Toowoomba Mediteranean Wine Challege 2009 Best Red Non Mediteranean 2007 Symphony Hill Wines Petit Verdot
  • Riverland Wine Show Best One Year Old Red Wine – Symphony Hill Wines 2003 Reserve Shiraz
  • Techical Excellance in Winemaking -2011 Symphony Hill Wines – ASWS
  • Most Successful Exhibitor New England Wine Show Kurrajong Downs 2007