Chromy Goes From Strength To Strength
Joe Chromy is a major force in Tasmanian wine. Aged 83 and having survived a serious stroke a few years ago, he seems to be doing more rather than less.
In his home town Launceston, Chromy recently bought the former Drysdale TAFE College building and turned it into a luxury hotel, the Hotel Charles. He’s also bought Launceston’s somewhat dated Pennyroyal complex, but has yet to announce his plans for it.
His fourth wine venture, Josef Chromy Wines in the Relbia region near Launceston, is flourishing. His winemaker Jeremy Dineen tells me they’ve just installed 400 solar panels on the winery to supply the electricity needs of the winery, restaurant and cellar door sales complex. It’s the biggest solar energy installation in Tasmania and will save over 4,260 tonnes of carbon emissions over the next 20 years.
Dineen’s most successful wine in the recent 2014 Tasmanian Wine Show was the 2013 Josef Chromy Fumé Blanc, a lovely barrel-fermented sauvignon blanc of real intensity and length; tropical fruit and peppermint aromas and a fine, dry, firm palate. His 2012 Josef Chromy Chardonnay (previous vintage tastings), which scored a silver medal, is also very good, with a fuller yellow colour and generous buttery, toasty aromas, the palate rich, full-bodied and well balanced. It’s a more conventional wine than the controversial 2011 (tasting), which did so well overseas, winning the international chardonnay trophy at the Decanter World Wine Awards last year.