16 Jan 2015 Restaurant
We've held out on our summer menu change until mid January to be able to take full advantage of the seasons offerings. Our previous menu (spring) was a good crossover and worked well into the first month of summer with lots of fresh herb and spring / summer harvest vegetables and other produce. We write our menu dish descriptions loosely so as to be able to let a dish evolve throughout its time on the menu with produce coming in and out of season. This helps keep the creative juices flowing – not being locked into something for 3 months. Flavour wise this menu we’ve gone bold and bright. Utilising the best of summers produce – stonefruit from the south, new seasons beets, heirloom carrots, tomatoes from the garden. Lots of pickling. Local currants, we are using vine leaves from, you guessed it, the vineyard.
Pickled Trevally, sorrel, tomato jelly & kamut cracker and Pan fried quail, beets, blood plum & black pudding
Desserts have been based heavily around seasonal summer fruit and some interesting combinations – The berry dessert contains local berry selection (dependant on what's available), a lemony sorrel and peppermint ‘tea’ and is finished with a mellow olive oil sorbet using arbequina oil from our friends at Glendale Olive Oil and given a bit of life with our own Josef Chromy verjus.
Another interesting dessert we are enjoying putting together is the – cucumber and toasted rice sorbets with honeydew melon and green tea meringue. A slightly challenging dessert with a refreshing, light finish
A very produce driven menu with little manipulation. Presented fresh, spritely and clean. Enjoy, we would love to hear your feedback as well - firstname.lastname@example.org
Head Chef - Matt Adams
19 Dec 2014 Taste of Tasmania
It’s nearly Christmas time, and this typically means the winery gets to shut its doors for 10 days or so. However there is no rest for the wicked, particularly in the hospitality game as we all head off to the Taste of Tasmania to show our wares. The Cellar Door team is also busy with New Year celebrations and weddings, while the Vineyard crew have critical operations that need to be undertaken over this period. This doesn’t mean that we forget about our priorities over the Christmas period however. It is often easy to forget about what we are here for, and why we do the things we do... ...turkey.
The festive season had me thinking about food for Christmas day, and when looking out of the winery windows I spotted the resident goose. This goose has been a permanent fixture at the property for the past eight years. Rumour has it an old vineyard manager didn’t like the geese on the property as they would eat a great deal of grapes near harvest time. So he took great efforts to chase them off the property. However, one goose evaded his scare tactics and set up home out in the middle of one of the dams. So while he outsmarted the vineyard manager (not too difficult by the way), it also has led to a fairly solitude existence. He spends most of his time rummaging around for food (I’m talking about the goose, not the vineyard manager), and hanging out with visitors to the dam. One day he can be seen with the plovers, another with the native hens, but typically he likes to spend time with the black swans which migrate here every year. We actually thought he couldn’t fly, until he was spotted flying in near formation with the swans one day... he is a very confused goose.
So while we have spared Mr. Goose from the dinner table, as he is now somewhat of a mascot, we also have another unusual solitary bird sharing the space. Barry (sorry no picture of Barry, he is rather camera shy), as he was named by some past vintage workers, is a musk duck. These are large, long lived ducks, found mainly in Tasmania and Victoria. Barry is often mistaken for a platypus by visitors, as they swim around just under the surface and use their tails to slap the water. They also make some pretty strange sounds. We also have a regular group of yellow tail black cockatoos, the odd brown goshawk or kite, and numerous other smaller bird species that I have no idea what they are. It’s safe to say that the grounds of Josef Chromy can be a bird-watchers paradise.
This brings me in a round-about way to the gardens of Josef Chromy Wines. Anyone who has visited our cellar door or restaurant, has probably been inspired by the landscaping and scenery of the area. The multitude of flowers that always seem to be in bloom, the manicured hedges, the freshly mown luminous grass. If I was to tell you that the grounds are maintained by a landscape gardener and team of workers it wouldn’t come as a surprise. However, if I was to tell you it is all done by one lady on a part-time basis; after seeing the gardens, you probably wouldn’t believe me. Margaret is a one woman flora manipulating machine. She is a constant blur on the landscape, darting from one area to the next. She has a small nursery on site, from which she constantly moves and transplants species to suit the seasonal needs. Watching Margaret makes you feel guilty for forgetting to water the pot plant on the sideboard at home... this is not entirely my fault however, as I have been googling on numerous occasions for a long spouted watering can that can reach the pot-plant from the couch. It’s just that no one has invented it yet. Come on inventors... think about the plants!
So if you can handle the self-condemnation; next time you are at the cellar door, take a walk around the grounds, do a touch of bird watching and marvel at Margaret’s handywork, as there is more artistry going on here at Josef Chromy than what is put in the bottle.
Stewart Byrne - Winemaker
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Josef Chromy Team. Please have a safe and enjoyable holiday period.
“Bubble bubble toil and trouble”... A Macbeth misquote I hear you say, well yes it is, but it is also the first thing that springs to mind when October rolls around, and we start looking at tiraging our sparkling wines. Tirage refers to the process where we put the bubbles into the bottle and it is an intense period of the winery year, where if mistakes happen, you’ll find me at the insurance agent significantly increasing my “accidental” death and injury policy.
Let us go back to the beginning of the sparkling wine production process. The first step is the production of a sparkling base wine. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and to a lesser extent, Pinot Meunier, are the three grape varieties predominantly used in Tasmania for sparkling wine. They each provide different characteristics and are often used in combination. Generally speaking, Pinot Noir provides body and lifted red berries aromatics, Chardonnay brings the citrus and long crisp acid profile, and Pinot Meunier provides richness and advanced ageing characters.
The grapes are harvested relatively early to attain the fresh acidity, and are fermented to form a base wine with low alcohol (10.0 to 11%). There are numerous stylistic options during this period, that help determine the house style of the sparkling, including juice oxidation, barrel ferments, yeast selection, malolactic fermentation, and lees stirring. We often create numerous sparkling base wines from multiple years with different characteristics, so we can blend our master base wines with the properties we are looking for.
Now we have reached October, and the tricky part begins... tirage. This involves adding yeast and sugar to the base wine, so a secondary ferment can begin and give us the bubbles in the bottle. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? It can be if you use the easy methods. Those five dollar bottles of passionpop we all remember from our youth... I did say youth... are made in a similar way as the trusty household sodastream. Other cheap sparkling wines are made using large pressurised tanks to undertake the secondary ferment, known as the ‘Charmat’ method. However the great sparklings undertake the secondary ferment in the bottle, and this method is known as Methode Champenoise or Traditional Method.
The yeast culture must be built over an eight day period to acclimatise to the base wine, as simply throwing the yeast into a wine with 11% alcohol will result in yeast shock, and not enough will survive to ferment the sugars. Once we have a healthy yeast culture, we add the correct amount of sugar to the base wine to achieve the final bottle pressure we are after (typically 6 to 7 bar), and add the yeast. The yeast must also be an exact quantity, so the secondary ferment completes over an extended period, as it effects the condition of the sparkling bubbles or beading. This involves counting the yeast over a 24hr period through a microscope, to ensure the correct amount is present in the wine. Finally we bottle the wine under a crown seal, and let the fermentation take its course.
Unlike table wines, you only get one chance for the ferment to be successful, as the wine is in bottle and you cannot add more yeast. Decanting the wine and starting again will also not work, as the alcohol level would be too high if it goes through another fermentation. So like Eminem said, we get one chance, one shot, which is why everything is undertaken with meticulous detail. It feels wrong to quote a rapper when discussing sparkling, but they are big supporters of the ‘bub’, so we want to stay in their good books.
After fermenting the sugars, the yeast continue to be useful as they break down in the wine, which is called ‘yeast autolysis’, and this provides bottle fermented sparkling with unique flavours and texture. The longer the sparkling is left on the yeast lees, the more of these characters will integrate into the sparkling. So time spent on lees is very much dependent on wine style. At Josef Chromy Wines, our non-vintage sparkling typically spends 24 months on lees, while our vintage sparkling (currently 2008) has spent 6 years on lees.
Finally it is time to release the wines for sale, however the yeast lees must first be removed from the wine. To do this we riddle the bottles, or in simple terms, turn them upside down so all the yeast moves into the neck of the bottle. We then freeze the neck, and in a process called ‘disgorging’, pop the crown seal off the bottle, taking the frozen lees with it. We then add a small amount of liqueur to provide some sugar to balance the acidity and to top the bottle up. The bottle is subsequently corked and labelled.
The vast majority of sparkling wines that come from Tasmania are made in this traditional method, and many are considered to be amongst the best in the world. An event on this weekend at Josef Chromy Wines called ‘Effervescence Tasmania’ provides the opportunity to taste some of these great wines coming out of Tasmania. All of the great Tasmanian sparkling houses will be in attendance including Arras, Jansz, Clover Hill, Kreglinger and Apogee, and numerous masterclasses will be conducted by some of the best in the business. So come along and enjoy some of our island State’s greatest export. I promise there will be no Eminem played at the Saturday night party.
Stewart Byrne, Winemaker
13 Oct 2014 weddings
At the end of August we had our very first Bridal Open Day, as many couples ask "can we see the function room set up?", so we thought - let's do it especially for those Bride and Grooms.
Event Avenue kindly set up the function room with different table designs to suit the latest style fashions with the LOVE sign in the background and a ceremony set up on the lawn. It all looked stunning and we had Chris Young Photography available on the day to take some fantastic photos which we are happy to share with you. Alan Gogoll - winner of The Pure Bride Industry Awards - Best Wedding Entertainment was also playing in the background to set the scene. To top off this wonderful day, Phil from Relbia Lodge was onsite to promote Relbia Lodge - the prefect wedding accommodation - only a very short walk away.
If you missed out, don't worry check out our wedding pinterest board for more photos and no doubt we will have another Bridal Open Day next year (date to be confirmed).
Welcome to the inaugural ‘What we get up to in the winery and vineyard throughout the year update’. I’m sure the Marketing team will come up with a catchier title, ... that’s why they get paid the big bucks.
So it is now mid-September and the vineyard team is just finishing pruning for the year. The cold winter nights are very important for the vineyard, as they allow the vines to go into dormancy, and focus on storing carbohydrates in the roots and trunk for next years growth. This unfortunately means that the vineyard team are not being able to feel their fingers and toes for three months. The end is in sight however, and now the race is on to finish the last few blocks before budburst.
Here at the winery, we are busy bottling our 2014 aromatic whites such as the Riesling and the Pinot Gris. So we have been blending all our components together after rigorous tasting sessions. Some would suggest that we always seem to be undertaking tasting sessions, and that we just use them as an excuse to drink. We take our tasting sessions very seriously...... all 365 of them... three times daily.
The wines need to be stabilised and filtered prior to being released, and by stabilising, we are referring to stabilisation to extreme heat or cold. If a wine is not cold stabilised, it can develop small crystals in the bottle, if it gets too cold in your fridge. These crystals are harmless, and are derived from potassium which comes from the grapes. However, we can initiate this process in the winery by holding the wine at very low temperatures so it occurs in winery tanks, rather than in the bottle. The same thing applies to heat stabilisation, where a wine can become hazy if a similar process is not applied. This is all done so the wines look clear and bright. We all know it’s what’s on the inside that counts, but we are a little bit vain in regards to our wines, and like them to look pretty too. I was going to insert something here about dogs looking like their owners, however I just looked over our profile pictures and thought it would work against the explanation... I digress.
It is also time to start racking Pinot Noir barrels in the winery. By this I mean pump the wine out of the barrels into a tank, and then return it back to the barrels. Why you ask? Well, the main reason is to take the wine off lees, and to give the wine some air. These lees are wine solids that settle down in the wine, and can make the wine reductive if left too long. So we take the wine out, wash the barrels, and return the wine back to the barrels. How often we do this depends on the wine type and style. However for Pinot Noir, it typically occurs twice over 12 months.
It is very important to look after barrels in the winery, as oak is a common site for spoilage through bacteria. At Josef Chromy we only use French oak barriques, predominantly from the forests surrounding Burgundy. Each empty barrel costs approximately $1300 to purchase... I know, crazy isn’t it, however good oak makes a big difference to wine, and in Tasmania we are dealing with some of the best fruit in the world.
I think that will be enough for our inaugural update. After this effort I doubt I will be invited to do the next one. It’s a bit like when my wife asks me to do the ironing, and I do such a bad job she doesn’t let me do it next time... incompetent she calls it... I call it genius.
Stewart Byrne, Winemaker
Very excited to be awarded Best Wedding Ceremony & Reception Venue at the Pure Bride Industry Awards on Saturday night
23 Aug 2014 Awards
10 Jul 2014 Events
Jimmy Barnes, The Living End, You Am I and Mahalia Barnes
A Day on the Green - Saturday 6th December 2014.
Tickets go on sale Friday 9am 18th July.
For more information click here
30 Jan 2014 Events
HeartKids Car Bike Show on this Sunday Feb 2nd @ Josef Chromy Vineyard
TASMANIA'S LARGEST CAR SHOW!
Aussie Coupes present the HeartKids Car @ Bike Show
Raising Money for Kids with Heart Disease.
Music - Beer - Wine - Food - Craft etc
Only $5 admission , Kids under 16 Free..
For more information click here
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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