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Wine – it’s a romantic word, and I should know. For more than 40 years, the wine industry in Australia has inspired me, nurtured me, filled my life with love, and provided with the footing for a most-rewarding career. I met my wife among the wine grapes and, after 26 years together, we were married on Valentine’s Day in 2019 at an intimate ceremony. Together, we have seen through the highs and lows of the complex and beautiful wine industry. Including the impacts of drought and extreme heat as a result of climate change, hitting winemakers hard and resulting in the loss of hundreds of thousands in crops. Despite it all, I am still in love with wine. Not all wine, and not all the time, and definitely only the best wine. For me, a glass of wine can tell you so much. Every glass has a romantic story, about the place it comes from and the person who made it, and about ourselves, as we consume it. A good wine goes hand in hand with good food and good company. It makes you slow down and savour the moment, preferably with a loved one who you treasure, talking about everything and nothing and indulging in all sorts of food. Wine speaks to me in its colour, its aromas and flavours. It speaks to me in the balance of fruit, acid and sugars, delivered by mother nature, who is by far the best creator of all. The way a wine evolves and develops as it ages is similar to growing old with someone, and making and creating a vintage is like performing a waltz with your lover – fluid and graceful. You have to find the right balance with wine, much like you do in everyday life. Much like you do with your partner, kids and friends. It’s a labour of love, every day. Wine has been and continues to be a huge part of my life and the life of my loved ones, in a way that only those who understand the complexity of making wine will truly understand. Growing grapes, making them into wine, tasting the wine, learning to do it better, adapting to a changing climate and hoping for a future in the wine industry. So, this Valentine’s Day, I encourage you to taste more, sip slowly, take in the flavours and aromas, and enjoy it with someone who you love. After all, wine is the international symbol for hello and I love you. Mike Hayes is a celebrated viticulturist for Sirromet Wines, Queensland.

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OPINION

Wine – it’s a romantic word, and I should know. For more than 40 years, the wine industry in Australia has inspired me, nurtured me, filled my life with love, and provided with the footing for a most-rewarding career.

I met my wife among the wine grapes and, after 26 years together, we were married on Valentine’s Day in 2019 at an intimate ceremony.

Together, we have seen through the highs and lows of the complex and beautiful wine industry.

Including the impacts of drought and extreme heat as a result of climate change, hitting winemakers hard and resulting in the loss of hundreds of thousands in crops.

Despite it all, I am still in love with wine. Not all wine, and not all the time, and definitely only the best wine.

For me, a glass of wine can tell you so much. Every glass has a romantic story, about the place it comes from and the person who made it, and about ourselves, as we consume it.

A good wine goes hand in hand with good food and good company.

It makes you slow down and savour the moment, preferably with a loved one who you treasure, talking about everything and nothing and indulging in all sorts of food.

Wine speaks to me in its colour, its aromas and flavours.

It speaks to me in the balance of fruit, acid and sugars, delivered by mother nature, who is by far the best creator of all.

The way a wine evolves and develops as it ages is similar to growing old with someone, and making and creating a vintage is like performing a waltz with your lover – fluid and graceful.

You have to find the right balance with wine, much like you do in everyday life.

Much like you do with your partner, kids and friends.

It’s a labour of love, every day.

Wine has been and continues to be a huge part of my life and the life of my loved ones, in a way that only those who understand the complexity of making wine will truly understand.

Growing grapes, making them into wine, tasting the wine, learning to do it better, adapting to a changing climate and hoping for a future in the wine industry.

So, this Valentine’s Day, I encourage you to taste more, sip slowly, take in the flavours and aromas, and enjoy it with someone who you love.

After all, wine is the international symbol for hello and I love you.

Mike Hayes is a celebrated viticulturist for Sirromet Wines, Queensland.