As others in the industry will attest, the 2018 vintage experienced one of the most extraordinary seasons, one that Tasmania has not witnessed in at least the last ten years. As Galileo so beautifully articulated, the sun definitely did its job this year, ripening those bunches of grapes with an assumption it had nothing better to do than to focus on Tasmania.
To put this in perspective, most years at Josef Chromy we’d usually start harvesting our grapes around the first week of March, but this year we started on February 19. And once it started, it did not stop coming for the next eight weeks.....it was full on. It was a record breaking year for us, processing 2477 tons of grapes in just eight weeks, with some of our daily intakes reaching 140 tons which made for some pretty intense days.
With the huge volume of fruit received each day, it was critical that we put together a team of staff that was highly skilled and extremely efficient. This year we had eight people join us from all over the world including the U.S., Canada, Germany, and Switzerland. The team were nothing short of exceptional and arguably the best combination of skills and personalities we’ve seen in the eight years since I joined.
Despite nailing our biggest vintage on record, we also managed to squeeze in a regular Saturday barbecue lunch – it was particularly convenient that we managed to hire a qualified chef on our winery team this year… (Thanks Nic!)
We are in the final stages now, pressing the last of the reds and finishing off the white ferments. It’s an intricate stage of the process, ensuring the wines ferment to dryness. So far, everything appears to be going very well and the wines are looking vibrant and full of character.
The vineyard team is now on a well-earned break before pruning starts in May/June. And then preparation starts again for next year’s vintage.
As the processing stage winds down, our production team crank up the disgorgement of our sparkling wines so we can get it out to our many distributors. And then it will be time to get started on all of the 2018 aromatic wines.
You should expect to see some impressive wines on the back of this vintage; quality wines that are intense, full of flavour and typically varietal, and what you’d expect from a Josef Chromy wine. Based on what we’ve seen so far, 2018 is definitely going to be a vintage to watch.
Every now and then we see a small batch of fruit that stands above the rest. Something that jumps out with a particular quality or attribute that stops you in your tracks and makes you wonder what would happen if you could bottle that batch just as it is. Usually, this is where the accountants step in with their logical reasoning - scales of economy, cost allocations and all that other sensible stuff - but when we found a few rows of exceptional fruit in one of our premier blocks in 2014, we decided to keep the batch separate anyway!
The resulting wine was as spectacular as we had hoped, but from this small batch, one single barrel stood above all. The oak worked seamlessly with the fruit, and no matter how many different combinations with other barrels we tried to blend, this one single barrel remained on a higher level.
Now this brings us back to the accountants! We already knew they probably wouldn’t like the idea of a single batch, so we would have to be out of our minds to think they would agree to bottling a single barrel. The solution? We three winemakers took it upon ourselves to hand bottle, by gravity, this single barrel late one evening, with no fining and no filtering; just as it looked in barrel.
This wine shows incredible texture and weight, soft tannins and rich red fruits. We have held this limited bottling in our cellars for an additional two years, to allow the wine to develop towards its full potential. However, it will reward those patient types well into the next decade. 275 bottles available for $150 each. BUY NOW
- Winemaker Stew
Do you want to work for an established, Australian owned company? Josef Chromy winery was purchased in 2003 as an established 61 hectare vineyard at Relbia. It is now classed as one of Tasmania’s premier wine tourism businesses and we are currently seeking experienced Process & Production Workers.
09 Oct 2017 Chardonnay
We have had a number of questions recently asking why some Chardonnay’s have so much texture, but other Chardonnay’s and varieties don’t. When we are speaking of texture, we are referring to all those wine terms like mouth-feel, body, weight and viscosity... even fatness... it can be considered a good thing to call a wine fat, unlike my dog, who I called fat the other night and he bit me, I think there was a dog biscuit in my back pocket... anyway back to the story.
There are a number of reasons that could lead to a wine having texture or weight, and many of these come from fermentation properties. However a significant factor in making a wine of this style is what the French term ‘bâtonnage’. We fancy Tasmanian’s prefer to term it ‘barrel stirring’.
It is simply the process of stirring the lees in the barrel, which is made up of small particles of grape pulp and skins, and the yeast that fermented the wine. As these particles break down in the wine, they release polysaccharides and amino acids, which are perceived in our tastebuds and palate as textural and full bodied. So stirring gets all those particles in contact with the juice/wine and increases the surface ratio, so they get more of an impact.
There are many types of tools you can use to stir the lees; we use a simple stainless steel curved rod. We do this process twice a week for up to two months, depending on the wine. We even had some perspex fronted barrels made so we could see the impact of the stirring, so we would know how often to stir, as the lees are heavy and eventually settle back to the bottom of the barrel when not in suspension.
As with all things there is a delicate balancing act, as stirring is also introducing oxygen to the wine as well as particular flavours and aromatics. You can have too much of a good thing, or can you?
- Winemaker Stew
07 Aug 2017 Effervescence
MEDIA RELEASE Wednesday 2nd August 2017
Now in its fourth year and already described as one of the world’s best sparkling wine festivals, Effervescence Tasmania returns on 16-19 November 2017 to delight lovers of fine sparkling wine.
Boasting a world-class program of events expected to sell out as in previous years, Effervescence Tasmania will celebrate the New World’s best sparkling wines across a long weekend of luxury and indulgence. With almost 1000 guests participating in 2016, Effervescence Tasmania is rapidly developing a cult-following of sparkling wine enthusiasts from around Australia.
Having amassed 80 Hats to his name, acclaimed Chef Jacques Reymond will delight the senses with a Sunday Degustation Lunch at Josef Chromy Wines, presented by the Porsche Centre Hobart who will also showcase their luxury vehicles. Sunday also affords the opportunity to take brunch with Jansz’s Louisa Rose and visit accomplished sparkling producers in the Pipers River region of northern Tasmania.
Multi-award winning wine writer, television presenter and international speaker, Tyson Stelzer, will deliver his definitive Tasmanian Sparkling Masterclass. Stelzer is Australia’s pre-eminent authority on sparkling wine, authoring The Champagne Guide and providing the sparkling reviews for James Halliday’s Australian Wine Companion. In a first for Effervescence Tasmania, Stelzer will deliver a second masterclass focusing on Tasmanian sparkling wine within the global context.
Across the weekend, wine from Tasmania’s great sparkling houses will be presented, sampled and sold in the beautiful grounds of Josef Chromy Wines. Food and wine pairing will be the focus of masterclasses with Bruny Island Cheese and Huon Aquaculture. Intimate ‘Ferment’ sessions will have guests up close and personal with Tasmanian sparkling winemakers to ask questions and share stories. Art of Sparkling tours will offer entry into the Josef Chromy winery to see sparkling wine being disgorged and blended.
For those feeling the fizz all the way to their feet, Saturday night’s Bubbles and Beats featuring Sydney DJ Damien Goundrie is the perfect opportunity to dance away the excesses of the day.
Effervescence Tasmania invites those who make, who love and who are curious about sparkling wine to share in the celebrations. The full Effervescence Tasmania program and ticket sales are available at www.effervescencetasmania.com.
David Milne, Sales & Marketing Manager, Josef Chromy Wines
PH +61 (0)3 6335 8704 M +61 (0)400 859 332 E firstname.lastname@example.org
Apogee, Barringwood, Clover Hill, Delamere, Freycinet Vineyard, Frogmore Creek, Ghost Rock, House of Arras, Jansz, Josef Chromy Wines, Moorilla, Pipers Brook, Pirie Tasmania, Stefano Lubiana, Spring Vale and emerging sparkling producers (TBA).
24 Jul 2017 Effervescence
DATES FOR EFFERVESCENCE TASMANIA 2017 ARE NOW SET.
16th - 19th November 2017.
To stay up to date with news and the events by heading to the Effervescence Website.
Love Tasmania’s wine, outstanding produce and boutique beverages but don’t have a trip to the island state planned just yet? Then let us bring a little taste of Tasmania to you.
Presented by Wine Tasmania, with support from Tourism Tasmania and Bottle Shop Concepts, VIN Diemen will bring the best of the island back to Sydney and Melbourne fans this August for two solid days of eating, drinking, learning and socialising. Now in its third year, the two-day series will showcase the unparalleled quality of Tasmania’s food and wine industry with an extended line-up of the island’s leading vintners and providores.
Complementing the outstanding wines will be cider and spirits from the Apple Isle, including the Abel Gin Co., Strait vodka and gin and Willie Smith’s Organic Cider. This year’s events also feature an even greater collective of farmers and makers, with festival-goers grazing on distinctly Tasmanian cheeses from Bruny Island Cheese Co., Shima Wasabi, Meander Valley and Rober Farm Goat Dairy offerings as well as Nichols Poultry.
Vin Diemen 2017 comes to Sydney on 12 August and Melbourne on 13 August. Visit the Vin Diemen website for more information!
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Why would we have our Pepik Pinot Noir on tap? Simple - it's good for the environment! Pouring such a popular wine by the glass from bottles means going through a lot of bottles, not to mention the energy to ship empty bottles in, fill, label and send them 100m across to the restaurant, only to be emptied and thrown into the recycling bin. Plus it takes an awfully large amount of energy to recycle glass! The novel wine keg is lightweight and 100% recyclable, reducing energy use and waste and still delivering a quality glass of wine to enjoy with your meal.
Vintage 2017 has been characterised by a significant shift in weather patterns mid way through the growing season. Winter experienced high levels of rainfall and these continued into Spring, in combination with high winds. This resulted in relatively poor flowering and subsequent reduced yields across most varieties. However, Summer was cool and dry, and provided excellent growing conditions. This has continued into the harvest months of March and April, with dry weather and slightly above average temperatures.
Vintage commenced in the second week of March, with sparkling base wines showing good flavours and fine acidity. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay fruit for still wines matured more rapidly than typical due to the 30% reduced yield. The fruit therefore reached flavour maturity at lower sugar levels than typical, and allowed for a slightly earlier harvest for table wines. Early reports indicate this reduced yield was not limited to Josef Chromy Wines, and yields look to be down approximately 30 to 40% regionally.
At this early stage we are very happy with the quality of the Pinot Noirs in barrel, and these appear to be the early stand out wines from the 2017 vintage. There is a great intensity of red berry fruit characteristics, driving acidity and a deeper colour profile than in previous vintages. The Chardonnays have vibrant acidity, and are receiving regular barrel stirring to build texture and weight on the palate. The citrus fruit flavours are prominent and combined with the tight structure, should hold the wines in good stead over the following 12 months in barrel.
The first of the 2017 releases are due before Christmas - we look forward to hearing your thoughts!
Hot on the heels of Pikes, The Oatley Family are pleased to announce that Tasmania’s Josef Chromy Wines will be joining their portfolio of family-owned wineries from 1st May, 2017.
They will be distributed nationally by Oatley Family Wine Merchants (OFWM): Australia’s fastest growing national distributor of Australian and International wines to the trade, specialising in the on-premise and independent retail sectors.
“We are delighted to include this premium northern-Tasmanian family-owned wine company to our portfolio” said OFWM Chairman Andrew (Sandy) Oatley today. “Renowned for its riesling, sparkling and pinot noir, Tasmania is definitely the epi-centre of ‘cool’ right now – both cool in climate and on-trend for wine lovers. Josef Chromy is without doubt one of the state’s best and sits well alongside our other Tasmanian offerings from Clover Hill and Derwent Estate.”
Located at Relbia, just South of Launceston, Northern Tasmania, Josef Chromy Wines was established in 2004 and has quickly built a reputation as one of the finest producers of Tasmanian Méthode Tradtionelle sparkling wines, elegant Pinot Noir and delicate white wines.
“We are excited to be joining one of the most dynamic and rapidly growing distribution businesses in the country, and particularly pleased that it is a family owned business with a genuine focus on wine” said Josef Chromy’s Chief Winemaker and General Manager, Jeremy Dineen. “We believe Oatley Fine Wine Merchants are a perfect fit for us because of their expertise, national footprint and dedication to providing high quality, family owned brands to the on-premise market.”
Josef Chromy and Pikes (announced earlier this week) will be distributed by OFWM in Australia both direct and through broad range wholesalers. Orders may be placed via email@example.com or calling 1800 OATLEY (628539).
Josef Chromy joins a select group of family-owned wine brands distributed by OFWM within Australia including: Ara Wines (Marlborough); Bremerton (Langhorne Creek); Champagnes Piper-Heidsieck and Charles Heidsieck (Fr); Chateau de Sours & Clos Cantenac (Bordeaux); Cherubino Wines (WA); Cumulus Wine Estates (Orange); Clover Hill (Tas); Derwent Estate (Tas); Giesen (Marlborough); La Gioiosa (It); Oakridge (Yarra Valley); Pikes (Clare Valley); Barone Ricasoli (Chianti); Robert Oatley Vineyards (Aus); Rockburn (Central Otago); Santi (It); Taltarni (Vic); The Lane (Adelaide Hills). OFWM also distributes Spiegelau stemware, Anchor Beers (USA) and Cape Grim water (Tas).
For further information contact Darren Jahn, OFWM Communications and Prestige Portfolio Manager on 0411 020574 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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Cellar Door - Open 7 days 10am - 5pm
Restaurant - Lunch daily 11.45am - 2.30pm
(Closed Christmas Day)
370 Relbia Rd
Relbia TAS 7258
03 6335 8700