JOSEF CHROMY'S STORY
Josef Chromy OAM has been instrumental in evolution of the Tasmanian food and wine industry, having owned and developed some of Tasmania’s leading wineries including Rochecombe (now Bay of Fires), Jansz, Heemskerk and Tamar Ridge.
At 76, when most people would be thinking about easing up, Joe launched Josef Chromy Wines in December 2007. In just over 4 years, Josef Chromy Wines made an impressive impact on the Australian Wine industry. Through the hard work of many, Josef Chromy Wines built sales of 28,000 cases in a profitable and sustainable manner. In a very short period, Josef Chromy Wines amassed 14 trophies and 170 medals, making it one of the most successful launches in the history of the Tasmanian Wine Industry.
Joe acknowledges Tasmania as the regional hero in this development. Josef Chromy Wines is the culmination of Joe’s experience in the Tamar Valley and its unique 60Ha vineyard site and location delivering both exquisite table and sparkling wines and providing one of the most memorable food and wine experiences in Tasmania. Josef’s personal journey from penniless immigrant to successful food and wine entrepreneur has been an inspiration for many in Tasmania. “I came here with nothing but hope and ambition over 50 years ago. Tasmanians welcomed me and, with their help, I have been rewarded for the challenges and risks I have taken in both the meat and wine industries”. Joe fled his war-torn Czech village in 1950 as a penniless 19-year-old after eleven years of Nazi and Soviet occupation. He escaped across borders guarded by minefields, dogs and soldiers, suffering five months of privation before immigrating to Australia. Over the next 40 years, he used his skills as a Master Butcher and Smallgoods Maker to build his business, Blue Ribbon Meat Products, into one of Tasmania’s leading brands In 1993 Blue Ribbon was floated on the Australian Stock Exchange, and Josef used the money to invest in Tasmania’s fledgling wine industry.
Josef is loyal to his adopted home, and all his property investments are in Tasmania. “Loyalty is a quality I value highly and this definitely affects my investment decisions. We do at times look elsewhere but so far there have been sufficient quality opportunities in this State that I love,” Mr Chromy said.
- National Export Hero Award Australian Institute of Export 2009
- Top 50 most influential wine personalities Australia’s Wine Business Magazine 2008 Export Leadership Award Tasmanian Export Awards 2008
- Honorary Life Member Tamar Valley Wine Route 2010
- Tasmanian Award 2011 for outstanding services to the Tasmanian wine industry, Royal Hobart Wine Show 2011