Sunday, 17 November 2013 15:51

Wine Victoria Board Member - Ross Brown

Ross is the Executive Director of Brown Brothers Wineries. Having joined the family run business in 1970, he was Chief Executive Officer for 10 years before taking up his current role in 2011.

An active member of the wine industry, Ross joined the Wine Victoria Board because of the calibre of the people who had already accepted a position on it, and who were committed to reigniting the industry body at a time when its future was in doubt.

"I knew it was critical to have a state based body representing the industry's issues, in particular to Victorian Government."

"Without a peak State body, the Government can make their own decisions and our interests can be quickly hi-jacked. This is particularly so when recognising the determined anti-alcohol lobby at State level, who would prefer to see us out of business."

Ross says that getting unanimous support and financial commitment from across the industry to address such issues is a large and ongoing challenge.

"It is so very easy to think issues such as wine and health, taxation and economic growth will manage themselves, but to the contrary, unless we manage our own future we won't have one."

"There are a lot of producers who would prefer to be disengaged, however without everyone playing their part we are weak, and right now that is to our peril."

Ross says equally, the Victorian Government needs to understand how important the wine industry is in returning regional, national and international economic benefits to the State.

Ross says that seeing the next generation proactively engaged in the Brown Brothers company is probably the most rewarding achievement that a father can have in a multi- generational family business.

"Two of my daughters, Katherine and Caroline are now working full time with Brown Brothers, both have had professional roles outside the business before coming on board."

"They fully understand that their career role is the tip of the iceberg, and that also representing the family as ambassadors, domestically and internationally, makes this very demanding but a very special totally embracing business."

And Ross' favourite wine? Well he says it's similar to how he feels about his three daughters - if you asked him which was his favourite you would get the same answer, he loves them all!