Josef Chromy OAM

Josef Chromy OAM has been instrumental in the development 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.  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. The unique 60 ha vineyard site and location deliver both exquisite table and sparkling wines, and provides one of the most memorable food and wine experiences in Tasmania. 

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 Joe used the money to invest in Tasmania’s fledgling wine industry. Joe 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.”


Order of Australia Medal for service to business & industry, particularly the meat processing industry 2007

Top 50 most influential wine personalities Australia’s Wine Business Magazine 2008

Export Leadership Award Tasmanian Export Awards 2008

National Export Hero Award  Australian Institute of Export 2009

Honorary Life Member Tamar Valley Wine Route 2010

Royal Hobart Wine Show Tasmanian Award for outstanding services to the Tasmanian wine industry 2011

'My Journey' Documentary

In 2012, we were privileged to host a Czech film crew making a lifestyle program about Tasmania. So enthralled were they with Joe's story, they made a documentary to chronicle Joe's history, from his arrival, to development of Rochecombe (Bay of Fires), Heemskerk/Jansz, Tamar Ridge and Josef Chromy Wines.