Must-Do #8 Josef Chromy Wines
The 84-year-old’s life story is nothing short of extraordinary. He fled his war-torn Czech village in 1950 as a penniless teenager after eleven years of Nazi and Soviet occupation. He escaped across borders guarded by minefields, dogs and soldiers, enduring five months of poverty before immigrating to Australia. Josef has been instrumental to the Tasmanian food and wine industry, having owned and developed some of the state’s leading wineries including Rochecombe (now Bay of Fires), Jansz, Heemskerk and Tamar Ridge.
Josef’s winemaking style is founded upon producing wines that show a true ‘sense of place’ and celebrate the individual characteristics of each unique vintage. Balance is the name of the game, with a focus on striving to marry fruit, natural acidity, structure, tannin and texture. And with a state-of-the-art winery at their disposal, these guys deliver on their assurance time after time, producing some of the State’s best Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc.
Go behind the label
Get amongst the vines and explore the winemaking process from grape to glass. Learn all about how a vineyard works and how the grapes develop throughout the season. You will get to taste some estate-grown cool climate wines in their unfinished state before heading inside to a warm, crackling fire. The cellar door and restaurant is housed in the estate's original homestead, and it is in here where you’ll enjoy a two-course lunch of fine Tasmanian produce paired impeccably with a glass of local vino. ($132 per person.)
Fancy some fly fishing?
Learn the art of fly casting, and gain an introduction to fly fishing with RiverFly Tasmania. Set against the rolling hills of the Winery, you’ll learn the basics of casting—or be able to fine-tune your skills—on the property’s lake with Tasmania’s leading fly fishing guides. Class sizes are kept small, so that each participant gets one-on-one teaching. (Classes are three hours long and bookings are essential; $100 per person.)
Wine and chocolate—the perfect marriage
We all know that wine and chocolate go hand in hand. They share quite a few similarities; the flavour and aroma yielded by both the cacao pod and grape are the results of the terroir and are affected by the soil, climate, and the weather conditions of every single harvest. As with any food, there are many different flavour profiles and chocolate preparations and no one wine is a universal match. It’s all very scientific but the main thing is that they taste good—and with one of Tasmania’s finest chocolatiers on board, that’s one thing you won’t have to ever worry about. Bookings for tastings are essential—head to their web site: www.josefchromy.com.au.
Josef Chromy’s estate is located at Relbia, a 15-minute drive south of Launceston. The restaurant is open 7 days for lunch, and Friday and Saturday nights for dinner. For passers-by who may wish only to take a peek at the venue, The Cellar Door is open every day, bar Christmas Day, from 10am to 5pm.
Go behind the scenes
Take a sneak-peek tour of the vineyard and just see what you're missing out on!