Ross is the third son of John Charles and Patricia Brown. Ross has been a leader in the family business for many years with a never ending enthusiasm for engaging customers at the cellar door, or anywhere in the world where there is a love of wine.
Since joining the company in 1970, Ross has overseen the development of Australia’s leading Cellar Door, which attracts up to 80,000 people each year. He was also responsible for initiating and developing the Epicurean Centre, where visitors have the opportunity to experience the ideal match of wines and regional food on the property.
One of the main reasons for the success of the company is that visitors are made feel welcome and relaxed as part of a rich rural history. Leading the industry with different grape flavours reflects the innovative culture for which the Brown family is well known, and is what makes tasting these wines at cellar door an always new and exciting experience.
Ross has also been active in the development of the wine tourism industry, chairing regional committees to develop strategies that have led to the region being at the forefront of winery tourism. His influence saw the development of Lindenwarrah Country House, a 5-star accommodation and conference centre adjacent to the winery and cellar door, enabling Brown Brother’s visitors the complete experience; superb wines, delectable food and great accommodation in a beautiful country house, that overlooks the vineyard.
Ross led the company as Chief Executive Officer for a decade, until he moved to the position of Executive Director, in early 2011. A position which allows him to spend more time in the marketplace, domestically and abroad as well as holding key positions within industry organisations.
In 2011-12 Ross was Chairman of Australia’s First Families of Wine, reflecting his passion for the broader Australian wine industry and his belief, that by the members working together and combining the values of family business, it is possible to achieve more collectively than it is individually, both in the Australian market and globally.
Brown Brothers’ involvement in overseas markets has been at Ross’ instigation. The commitment to regularly visit these markets and to be personally involved with the customers has seen the company’s success increase, to now being recognised as one of Australia’s leading premium wine exporters.
Succession planning and ongoing family involvement have also been very important to Ross. Family members are encouraged to bring in outside skills and work elsewhere for a least four years, it was therefore very exciting for him when his eldest daughter Katherine, after fulfilling these expectations, joined the family business in 2010 and Caroline joined the business in 2012.
It has always been Ross’ desire to see the family business continue in perpetuity and with two of the next generation John Andrew Brown and Eliza Brown on the company Board, this seems assured for another generation.