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Friday 28 June 2019

When wineries get PR very, very wrong

Like many others in the wine industry I received an email today from Sirromet Wines in Queensland, boasting about the appointment of new chief winemaker Mike Hayes, formerly of Symphony Hill.

As a throwaway line, the press release mentioned that Adam Chapman (below), the previous chief winemaker, resigned last month.

The departure of Chapman, who has spent over 20 years promoting Queensland wine, did not merit a press release and today's release mentioned him in 10 words.

How's that for respect for a key former employee?

Chapman resigned after Hayes, who can be a prickly character, was give the role of director of Vineyard and Winery Operations, last year.

Several in the wine industry saw Chapman's departure coming.

Hayes, the press release reported, has experience across 16 wine regions, four states and two countries. He will work with Jessica Ferguson, who has been promoted to the role of winemaker.

Hayes was the Australian Society of Viticulture & Oenology (ASVO) Winemaker of the Year for 2017 and Queensland Winemaker of the Year in 2018.

He has plenty of runs on the board.

That said, wineries do themselves no PR favours when they try to airbrush out the achievements of previous employees.

Bad form, I think.

1 comment:

  1. I know my comment is rather late, however, I totally agree with you Winsor. I felt the press release was poor form and showed zero respect towards Adam. Adam led a WSET2 course I sat and his energy and knowledge was outstanding, but how he personalised the information (Dumbed it down) was a great quality. He has achieved amazing results at Sirromet and thus I expect more from them.