HEAD OF PRODUCTION
Jessica is a degree qualified chemist with over 17 years winemaking experience.
Born and bred in Tasmania, Jessica graduated from the University of Tasmania with a Bachelor of Science (Chemistry) in 1996.
A career in the food and environmental science fields followed until 2005 when Jessica accepted the position of Wine Chemist at Sirromet Wines, in 2011 Jessica was promoted to Assistant Winemaker, then Winemaker in 2019 and in 2021 Jessica was appointed Chief Winemaker of Sirromet Wines.
And so began the enormous responsibility of overseeing all aspects of Sirromet’s wine production. From harvest to bottling, sparkling and fortified wines, including vintage planning, harvest operations, fermentation management, cellar, laboratory and bottling operations, procurement, and waste management.
As all winemakers do, Jessica has consistently worked on developing her palate through years of extensive tasting and benchmarking of regional, Australian and global wines. This is a key attribute of the job, particularly to stay relevant with current best practice in winemaking as well as customer preference trends.
Well respected in the industry, Jess has extensive wine show judging experience at both Regional and National levels in positions from Associate Judge to Panel Chair.
She was a student at the Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI)’s Advanced Wine Assessment Course in 2014, where prospective wine judges are assessed for their judging objectivity, sensitivity, consistency, and ability to identify medal-worthy attributes in wines. She was later awarded the Dux award for the 35th AWAC.
In 2019 Jessica won an Australia-wide writing competition sponsored by the Australian Women in Wine Awards (AWIWA) for which she was offered a place as an associate wine judge on the Royal Melbourne Wine Awards panel. She was the inaugural recipient of the AWIW associate judging position and is believed to be the first winemaker from Queensland to officiate at the RMWA.
The competition was the initiative of the Australian Women in Wine Awards (AWIWA) and the Royal Melbourne Awards (RMWA) to highlight the need for greater balance and gender diversity in the Australian wine show system.
As winemaker at Sirromet Wines with 16 vintages behind her, Jess’ philosophy towards winemaking is one of patience, curiosity and minimal intervention. Although coming from a very technical background with qualifications in chemistry and a detailed understanding of fermentation science, she deliberately does not make wine with a rigid formulaic approach.
Meet our wine making and production team. Led by Jessica Ferguson as Winemaker and Head of Production, with over 16 years experience in wine making and a strong interest in minimal intervention wine making and sustainability Jess’s vision for the future wines of Sirromet is truly exciting.
When discussing the style of Sirromet wines, Jess said "We tend and nurture our vines in the ancient landscape and mineral soils of the Granite Belt, with vineyard blocks dotted amongst crumbling giant boulders of crystalline granite.
Every year our grapes reflect the seasonal elements of this special place; our minimal intervention winemaking approach is careful and unhurried, to fully respect the intrinsic contribution of landscape and climate embodied by the purity of flavour in the glass"