Meet the Team
Joining the company in 1970, Ross has seen it grow from a small winery based around the cellar door to a nationally and internationally acclaimed business with a Cellar Door that attracts up to 80,000 people each year.
Ross was responsible for initiating and developing the Epicurean Centre, where visitors have the opportunity to fully engage in all the pleasures of matching the wines with regional food.
As Chief Executive Officer Ross led the company for a very successful decade, until he moved to the position of Executive Director, in early 2011. He has been active in the development of the wine tourism industry, chairing regional committees to develop strategies that have led to the north east of Victoria being at the forefront of winery tourism.
Brown Brothers’ involvement in overseas markets has been at Ross’ instigation and he is passionate about exciting new wine drinkers to share the stories and pleasures of great wine. Not surprisingly, he is regularly in China and believes that wine will be the lifestyle beverage of their next generation, and this will underpin the next major growth phase for the business.
Ross was Chairman of Australia’s First Families of Wine, combining his ongoing dedication to the family business and the promotion of the Australian wine industry. Ross has always had trouble defining what is fun and what is work as the business is all consuming, however, fly fishing, skiing and golf are getting more attention recently.
Katherine is the oldest daughter of Ross and Judy Brown. Katherine has always had a passion for wine. Following her Degree in Entrepreneurship from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), Katherine immersed herself in the world of marketing and brand management, beginning her working life in the coffee industry before her start in the wine industry, selling wine in the corporate market. She has worked in sales and marketing at Brown Brothers and is currently a Brand Manager in the marketing team. Katherine has furthered her knowledge through completing a Masters in Wine Business at Adelaide University and is currently completing a Masters of Viticulture and Oenology at Charles Sturt University. In 2012 Katherine was named one of the Australian Wine Industry Future Leaders.
Caroline is the second daughter of Ross and Judy Brown. Having completed a Bachelor of Communications (business) at Bond University, she worked as an Account Manager at an advertising agency in Melbourne, working with some great brands and being challenged by interesting ideas, tight deadlines and excellent creative work. Caroline is now PR Manager for Brown Brothers and also is a great brand ambassador for Brown Brothers working with the other fourth-generation family members at events and tastings. Caroline loves travelling - especially if it involves skiing.
Emma is the third daughter of Ross and Judy Brown. Currently working in marketing in a leading FMCG company, she enjoys expanding her knowledge of business to one day be an asset to Brown Brothers. Emma has a passion for travel, enjoying recent trips to Japan, India and Canada, specifically to follow the snow.
Emma enjoys working at events such as the Dolce Vita Festival, Taste festivals and many other opportunities to engage with people who love Brown Brothers wines.
After graduating with a Bachelor of Agricultural Science – Oenology from the University of Adelaide, Joel started his career as a Winemaker with Normans Wines in the Adelaide Hills where he worked for 4 years.
In 2004 he joined Brown Brothers as Winemaker, and was directly responsible for a portfolio of premium red and white wines. A vintage trip to Champagne confirmed his passion for sparkling wine, and Joel took on responsibility for the Brown Brothers bottle fermented sparkling range, including the NV and Patricia Pinot Chardonnay products.
In 2007 Joel was promoted to the position of Senior Winemaker / Winery Manager. In this role he is responsible for leading and managing the winemaking and winery teams, ensuring production of top quality wines in a range of innovative wine styles, from up to 40 different grape varieties. Joel has experience judging wines in a number of Wine Shows around Australia.
After completing a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at La Trobe University in 1996, Brett commenced his career working in irrigated horticulture in the Sunraysia district of Victoria. This involved working in the technical management of large-scale winegrape plantings as well as citrus, almond and avocado orchards. In 2002 Brett moved to Rutherglen in North-east Victoria to manage a group of winegrape vineyards, and this is where he first came into contact with Brown Brothers as a grape supplier. He then leapt at the opportunity to join the company as Chief Viticulturist in 2007. In this role Brett is responsible for all Company-owned vineyards, and the Team that manage them, ensuring that the quality and quantity of the grapes produced meet the requirements of the company and, most importantly, our customers. The vineyards that Brett is responsible for are located in a hugely diverse range of locations and climates across Victoria and also Tasmania.
When not immersed in Viticulture, Brett remains fully occupied in raising a young family as well as competing in the occasional adventure race, triathlon or even marathon.
Andrew studied hospitality in Wangaratta and first encountered Brown Brothers in 1995 as a student working at a function in the Epicurean Centre. He was invited back to take up a role in the Epicurean Centre where he was introduced to the wonderful world of wine and food. He travelled to Asia, the Middle East and Europe, and then made his way home to work vintages at the winery in Milawa. In 2002 he managed the Epicurean Centre and some two years later he managed the Cellar Door. In 2007 he was appointed as a Wine Educator and he now has the role of Wine Ambassador. He has a graduate diploma in Wine Technology and Viticulture from Melbourne University and is passionate about sparkling wine.
Head chef of The Epicurean Centre, Douglas Elder, is no stranger to the North-East of Victoria. In a career spanning nearly 20 years, Douglas served a long apprenticeship learning his trade in top restaurants around Victoria before landing his first head chef’s job at Villa Gusto in Bright. After 3 successful years, he took over at the well known Warden’s Food and Wine in Beechworth where he helped cement the restaurant as one of NE Victorias best. Success has followed Douglas wherever he goes, including six chef’s hats awards from the Age Good Food Guide, and we are now happy that he calls Brown Brothers home.
Douglas’ philosophy is simple; to cook quality, accessible meals for our clientele, but food which may surprise them with its flavours and techniques. He credits his time at the famous Lakehouse in Daylesford for teaching him the value of fresh, seasonal and local produce, and in the North-East of Victoria he has this in abundance. After living here now for 10 years, he knows the local producers, the food and the area well and will help give you an insight into the daily events of his kitchen.
Emma Porter looks after our Epicurean Club members, putting together special offers, the Epicurean magazine and email newsletter as well as organising club events. Emma moved from Britain to Australia nine years ago and has experience in many areas of marketing. On making the move Down Under she says she discovered the wonderful world of wine and she learns something new about wine every day. A keen foodie, Emma cooks in Brown Brothers Epicurean TV series with Katherine Brown and loves to blog about her food and wine adventures.