At 74 years old, an age when most are embracing retirement, Josef Chromy was gearing up to launch an empire.
Ten years on from the release of his first wine, Josef’s resulting brand has helped cement Tasmania’s reputation as a leading food and wine producer, leading the way with a stunning winery and restaurant within the Relbia wine region.
The man behind the label had been through his fair share of life experiences before launching his latest business. At just 19 years of age, Josef fled his war-torn Czech village, escaping across heavily guarded borders and spending five months on the run before finding a home in Australia’s most southern state.
Embracing life in his adopted home, Josef, a butcher by trade, worked hard to build his business, Blue Ribbon Meat Products. In the early 1990s, Josef sold the company to invest in the state’s fledgling wine industry, helping to develop well-known names such as Jansz, Rochecombe (now Bay of Fires Wines), Heemskerk and Tamar Ridge. All of this experience has culminated in his namesake brand, Josef Chromy Wines, where attentive service, quality produce and careful attention to detail combine to present a memorable culinary experience.
Every wine produced under the Josef Chromy label has a unique sense of place. Elegant, subtle and complex, each bottle showcases the cool-climate vineyard in which it was grown. While every wine is distinct, there is one common characteristic – balance. The team at Josef Chromy strives to find the perfect balance of fruit, natural acidity, structure, tannin and texture.
Using state-of-the-art technology, the winemakers at Josef Chromy produce a selection of premium wines including pinot gris, sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, riesling and pinot noir. Head Winemaker and General Manager, Jeremy Dineen, oversees a staff of talented winemakers who take a gentle and traditional approach to making wine. Each bottle is created with minimal intervention, allowing the subtle and delicate flavours of the fruit to develop naturally and reach their full potential.
The Cellar Door, housed in the property’s original homestead and surrounded by lush gardens, is the perfect spot to enjoy the variety of estate-grown wines on offer. With an open log-fire blazing in winter and beautiful grounds to explore in summer, it offers a unique and intimate location for weddings, concerts, conferences and events. For the full immersive experience, guests can stay at the beautiful neighbouring property, Relbia Lodge.
For a chance to explore Tasmania’s superb produce and wine in more depth, visit Josef Chromy Restaurant. This outstanding venue showcases the very best local offerings in a simple, seasonally changing menu. Head Chef, Nick Raitt, allows local ingredients to shine, creating dishes that are perfectly suited to each and every one of the estate’s wines.
Start your dining experience with a King Island beef carpaccio, served with pickled mushrooms, truffle aioli and pecorino, before moving onto the lamb rump with eggplant caponata, white bean puree, pine nut and olive caramel. Each dish comes with a recommended drop, allowing you to witness how the two elements interact to elevate the experience.
Josef Chromy has been instrumental in cementing Tasmania’s place as a world-class producer of food and wine. From creating exceptional wines to establishing a restaurant that showcases the very best ingredients from across the state, Josef has created a culinary empire that’s here to stay.