New chair for Riverland Winegrape Growers

Image: Sheridan Alm.

Riverland Wine general manager Jo Pippos has announced the re-appointment of Sheridan Alm as the incoming chair of the Riverland Winegrape Growers Association (RWGA).

The appointment was made following the organisation’s board meeting held on 13 September.

“Sheridan is an industry leader, and as a previous Chair of the organisation, her skills and experience make her an excellent appointment as the incoming Chair,” said Pippos.

Alm, a Riverland winegrape and almond grower, has taken an active advocacy and leadership role in the industry over many years.

Alm previously held the position of Chair from 2012 to 2018, and since the expiration of that term has held the organisation’s vice-chair role. Alm is a graduate of the Future Leaders wine industry program, the 2019 Australian Women in Wine Awards – Viticulturist of the Year and has a background in Viticulture, Natural Resource Management and Agricultural Education.

Alm is a member and past chair of the River Murray Advisory Committee and past SA MDB NRM board member.

“I am looking forward to stepping back into the role as chair of the RWGA, it’s no secret that the coming vintage will be challenging as our winemakers shift to new markets,” said Alm.

“Significant over supply in cool climate regions following a record 2021 vintage, will prolong the required adjustment in the marketplace but the Riverland will continue to over deliver on value and come out on top.

“As we all know in the Riverland, out of adversity comes opportunity and as a grapegrowing community we can embrace this change, grow our region, keep more profit in our own pockets and look after one another.”

Alm replaces Brett Proud, who has stepped aside from his role after 11 years of service on the RWGA Committee, three of those as chair of the Association.

During his term Brett also served as the Riverland Regional Representative on the Winegrape Council of SA, Inland Wine Regions Alliance, Riverland Horticulture Futures Group and on numerous sub-committees.

Pippos acknowledged the tremendous leadership role Proud has provided to the industry throughout his term.

“Brett is well known in the industry and has been a key player in its development and advocacy. He is passionate about the future direction of the Riverland wine industry,” said Pippos.

Proud said, “I have appreciated the opportunity to serve our grower members in my three years as Chair of RWGA”.

“We have faced challenges over this period, but the important thing for me has been the valuable partnerships we have established with industry and key stakeholders across the inland wine regions.

“RWGA has supported the Riverland winegrape industry in an ever changing environment, both commercially and climatically. As we adjust to such changes, I have been keen to ensure that we remain relevant and continue to deliver value to our members.

“I am very grateful to have been provided the opportunity to lead the organisation, and I am extremely confident it enters into very safe hands with Sheridan leading the organisation once again.”

Further Board appointments have also been announced by the Association.

“We welcome two new board members to the Committee, Anna Petersen and Michelle Kennedy,” said Pippos.

Petersen together with her husband Scott, own and manage a winegrape and almond property in Cooltong. Having previously worked for the Almond Board of Australia she also brings solid communications and industry advocacy skills.

“I am looking forward to working with the RWGA Committee and extending my knowledge of the complexities of the Australian wine industry and most importantly, where Riverland Wine fits within that. It is my intent to offer innovative ideas to improve engagement across RWGA’s membership whilst also offering support to RWGA’s staff,” said Petersen.

Kennedy has been involved in her family vineyard since 2005, managing 85 acres of vines with her husband Darren at Glossop.

She has a commerce degree majoring in business law from Curtin University and a strong work history that includes export and marketing in the Riverland wine industry.

Of her appointment, Kennedy said, “Moving to the Riverland to raise our young family on Darren’s family vineyard was one of the best decisions I have made. I love this region and I am keen to see Riverland growers prosper in this unique regional environment.”

“The recent appointments are all well-deserved, and I look forward to working together with everyone to further the interests of the Riverland wine community,” concluded Pippos.


Are you a Daily Wine News subscriber? If not, click here to join our mailing list. It’s free!