Englefield retires as Murray Valley Winegrowers chair

Long-serving member of the winegrape industry in the Murray-Darling and Swan Hill regions Brian Englefield has retired as chair of Murray Valley Winegrowers (MVW). He has held the position for the past six years, announcing his retirement at an MVW Management Committee meeting yesterday.

Englefield’s involvement in the winegrape industry extends over a much greater period than his six-year stint at the helm of MVW.

He operated a large winegrape property at Wemen for 40 years, selling the vineyard in 2017. During this period he served as a director of the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation (now Wine Australia), and chair of the Victorian and Murray Valley Wine Grape Growers Council. He also served a term on the board of the Mallee Catchment Management Authority.

While he will remain a member of the MVW Management Committee until the AGM in November, his decision to step down as chair will give him more time to devote to other interests, such as fund raising for the Royal Flying Doctor Service and volunteering for Rotary projects through his membership of the Robinvale club.

Following Englefield’s retirement, the Management Committee approved the appointment to its ranks of the former Member for Mildura, Peter Crisp. As well as serving in the Victorian Parliament for 12 years, Crisp is a former winegrape and citrus grower, chair of Sunraysia Citrus Growers and member of the Victorian Farmers Federation Horticultural Council.

The Management Committee also elected Peter Crisp as the new chair of MVW.

“I’ve had a long involvement in the horticulture sector, in areas of both policy and production, and feel that my experience will assist MVW in providing advocacy services to the winegrape growers of the Murray-Darling and Swan Hill regions,” Crisp said.

“In particular, I’ve had a long association with the issues arising from irrigation water management, the consequences of drought and reduced water allocations, biosecurity and quarantine, and grower viability.”

Peter’s first major task as chair will be to attend a meeting next week of the Inland Wine Regions Alliance. The IWRA has been established to represent the estimated 1800 growers in the inland wine regions of Riverland SA, Murray-Darling/Swan Hill and Riverina NSW on issues common to all.