04 Sep 2015 winery
So spring is here, and as the name suggests, the vineyard is ready to spring to life. There could be some nervous moments over the next few months, as it appears we are heading into one of the strongest El Nino events in recent history. This means we are in for an extended dry spell, and the risks of major frost events are more likely. Our vineyard is generally protected from significant loss from frosts due to the air drainage from the hills, however we have lost some crop in the past, and will be on the lookout for any reoccurrence. I have generously offered our Vineyard Manager a hairdryer and extension cord from my house, so he can walk up and down the rows at 4am... he thought I was joking, however he is yet to realise that we have already spent his entire budget on oak barrels for next year, so he won’t be getting that helicopter anytime soon.
Down here in the winery we have been busy putting our last aromatic whites into bottle, whilst trying to stay warm. Some of the winery lads have resorted to wearing two pairs of socks and gloves. I suggested that they do what I did and turn the aircon up a notch, to which they were none too pleased.
One of those wines we are bottling now is the 2015 Fume Blanc. This wine is basically a Sauvignon Blanc that has been treated similarly to a Chardonnay. Our 2015 Fume Blanc was whole bunch pressed to French oak barrels, inoculated with two different yeasts, one half for fruity aromatics, the other for texture and mouth-feel, and fermented in barrel. The barrels were then stirred three times a week for two months, and then aged for a further three months prior to bottling. The stirring or bâtonage in French (things always sound more fancy in French), builds more complexity into the wine resulting in toasty, creamy and nutty characters. The result is an interesting combination of flavours. An interesting exercise is to drink a Sauvignon Blanc and a Fume Blanc from the same producer (cough cough... us...) to see the differences first hand. The Sauvignon Blanc is purely about fruit expression, while the Fume Blanc is all about the winemaker’s intervention, and shaping the wine stylistically into a different form.
There are a select number of other Tasmanian producers doing Fume Blanc’s including Frogmore Creek, Domaine A and Delamere. They are typically great value for money, and are a different take on an old favourite. We only make a small number of barrels, so it will be available through our cellar door and some limited outlets later this month. Keep an eye out.
Stewart Byrne - Winemaker
We are looking for a dynamic and motivated professionals to assist our energetic and busy front of house team. If you know someone that fits the bill, please send them our way.
21 Jul 2015 weddings
There are 52 Saturdays in a year and in Launceston, if you plan to get married during the peak wedding season, there are only 25 Saturdays available. Have you considered Fridays as an option to get married? Not only are there another 25 dates available in the peak wedding season but there are many other reasons why Friday weddings are a fabulous option. Here are our top five:
We use our Josef Chromy Verjus (made from the juice of unfermented grapes) quite a bit in the kitchen as a base for pickles and dressings. It has a very user friendly, balanced acidity and sweetness that works for a lot of applications where vinegars or citrus are too overpowering. We use hops ‘gel’ for lack of a better word.. with our current entree (Smoked pear: Bay of Fires clothbound cheddar, hops & green peppercorn, toasted nori).
Hops Gel Recipe
16g green peppercorns (whole don’t crush)
100g honey (light meadow honey, not big like leatherwood)
300g Josef Chromy Verjus
½ leaf gelatine (titanium) soaked in cold water
3g agar agar
Recipe by Sous Chef Euan Macpherson
This recipe would be great on a cheese platter and also works with smoked trout/salmon and as an alternative to apple sauce with your roast pork.
Enjoy and we would love to hear what recipes you have used our Verjus in.
Join us for a 2 Course Lunch Special - $45.00 including a glass of wine
Monday to Friday - May through to September 2015
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19 Jun 2015 winery
The powers that be (aka Abbey upstairs in the marketing room), have asked me to do a quick vintage report, to let you know what has been going on here in the winery over the past three months. This got me wondering whether people generally know what vintage refers to. So here are a few definitions from some of our most trusted sources.
Cambridge Dictionary - ‘of high quality and lasting value, or showing the best and most typical characteristics of a particular type of thing, especially form the past’.
Oxford Dictionary - ‘The year or place in which wine, especially wine of high quality, was produced’.
Josef Chromy Dictionary - ‘A two to three month period of total chaos, where all the fruit comes in, everybody runs around in circles, nobody gets any sleep, things often break down, and you forget what your husband/wife’s name is as you haven’t seen them in so long... which leads to two to three more months of the same again minus the fruit’.
From this broad array of definitions, the third describes most accurately what we refer to in the Australian wine industry when we talk about vintage. Our North American friends refer to this period as ‘Harvest’... why they would want to give it a clear, logical and accurate name is beyond me... after all, it is an unwritten rule that we are supposed to confuse the public at every given opportunity, to make you believe that what we do is magical and mysterious. So vintage it is.
The first question we usually get asked following vintage is whether it was a good vintage. From listening to the media over the years, you have probably realised that the answer to this question is always yes. The truthful answer is that it is often too early to tell. The wines still have a long period in which to form and develop, and numerous processes to go through before they are released. Of course we have a good idea which wines are going to be exceptional and which are going to need work, and this is what we undertake over the following period of time. Highlighting the strengths and minimising the deficiencies in each particular wine. This is really what winemakers are paid to do. There are a myriad of winemaking techniques we can undertake, some simple and some more complex, however that is a discussion for another day.
So back to the original question, how was the vintage? It is safe to say that at this early stage, we are very happy with the results. Quality looks to be good (usually expected in Tasmania), however the yields were also back up to normal levels, which will have winemakers and growers across the State breathing a sigh of relief, as 2014 was very low yielding, and consequently we didn’t make any money... sorry Joe.
We are pretty excited about our Chardonnay’s this year, they have lots of texture and complexity. We purchased a few perspex fronted wine barrels so we could observe what goes on inside the barrel at different stages of the year, as you can see in the top video where we are filling some Chardonnay juice into them ready for ferment.
We had a great vintage crew of six this year who came to work at the winery, coming from Canada, New Zealand, England, Czech Republic and Australia. Travelling nationally and internationally undertaking vintages is a great way to build up experience and see a range of winemaking techniques, and is a rite of passage for most graduate winemakers. Having a good crew can make or break your vintage, and when this crew weren’t helping the guys at Saint John’s Craft Beer Bar empty their kegs, they did some excellent work.
Stewart Byrne - Winemaker
30 Apr 2015 weddings
Our new Lakeside Pavilion is the latest addition to the Josef Chromy Estate and has been purpose built for weddings and those special events.
Nestled on the water’s edge, the white painted wooden pavilion creates a romantic atmosphere with an incredible backdrop of the vineyard and is beautifully landscaped into a terraced reception area.
Joe offically opened the Pavilion Friday 24th April 2015 along with some local wedding and tourism businesses.
17 Apr 2015 Restaurant
Yes its cooler, daylight savings is over, it’s a bit early for heavy winter foods, we like to keep things light anyway. We like to have fun, and we are with this menu but we still like to get snuggly so we are introducing a bit of heat in some areas with a touch of chilli and spice to warm things up a bit (Brussels ferment, xo sauce).
We’ve played with the menu structure a bit too with the introduction of 2 dishes in entree or main size (sticky pork pierogi, squid ink pasta). Both these dishes are also a bit of cross cultural fun, a risk I know, but we’ve got this one. As usual we source produce as locally as possible (Bay of Fires clothbound cheddar, hops from down the road, Rannoch farm quail, apples, pork from Scottsdale, fish, mussels, cider and beef from the North West.
Also we want you to share... We believe a great way to eat. There will be a daily changing shared dish with 2 accompanying sides. Speaking of sides, we’re adding a couple more, more to enjoy..
We are still here, pushing on with heads down, our favourite menu to date. Come see us. Our love for you is still strong and the boys of summer have gone... Check out the menu here
Matt Adams - Head Chef
Congratulations to our Cellar Door and Restaurant team awarded the Best Cellar Door with Best Food in Northern Tasmania in the Gourmet Traveller WINE annual Cellar Door Awards.
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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