EMOTIONAL, humbled and shocked is how winemaker Mike Hayes described his reaction to winning the coveted Samuel Bassett award at the 2014 Queensland Wine Awards.
The award is presented to a person who, over time, has contributed to the advancement of the Queensland Wine Industry.
“It was a really surreal night,” Mr Hayes said.
“It was not until the drive home that it started to sink in. It was quite an honour, there are many people who are worthy of receiving this award.”
Mr Hayes said he never expected to be presented with the award in his lifetime.
The Symphony Hill winemaker has played a huge role in the Queensland wine industry, especially around the Granite Belt.
He has helped establish many successful wineries and also works to pass on his skills and knowledge to future generations through the Queensland College of Wine and Tourism.
"It shows that if you put your head down and work hard, good things can happen," Mr Hayes said.
"However I would not have been able to achieve what I have without the support of my partner Andrea and daughter Jessica.
"They mean the most to me and are a huge part of why I have been so successful."
Mr Hayes, who is a born and bred Stanthorpe man, also thanked his former teacher at Stanthorpe State High School, John Neville.
"John was instrumental in the early days at QCWT," he said.
While Mr Hayes is back at work in the vineyard, he said the fact he had picked up this award was still sinking in.
"All the things I never thought would happen to me are coming true," he said.
"But to be honoured by my peers is something everyone strives for."
Mr Hayes also extended his congratulations to the other Granite Belt wineries that picked up awards at the 2014 awards.
Stanthorpe Border Post – Erin Smith | 12 Sep 2014