A winery is as much about its people as it is about place. Meet some of the characters and inspiration behind our wines and food.
Ockie has always had a passion for cool climate wines, so in 2008, when he was offered the position of Assistant Winemaker at Bay of Fires in north-east Tasmania, he jumped at the chance. Hailing from South Africa, Ockie is a dedicated winemaker with a diverse background that spans Tasmania (Bay of Fires & Josef Chromy Wines), Clare Valley (Leasingham Wines), Mosel (Germany – ZGM), Hunter Valley (First Creek Wines) and Mudgee (Simon Gilbert Wines).
Ockie is passionate about his job and strives to create wines of exceptional quality with fruit sourced from the Josef Chromy vineyard. Ockie also has a wicked golf handicap and loves trout fishing on the highland lakes.
Viticulture Manager Tasmania
Kellie is an experienced Vineyard Manager & viticulturist with a demonstrated history of working in the wine industry. Kellie is skilled in all areas of vineyard operations, leadership & management. Kellie joined Josef Chromy Tasmania from Treasury Wine Estates in May 2022.
Kellie has a special focus on best-practice viticulture including IPM (integrated Pest management) and integrating new Ag tech to understand the relationships between soil, nutrition and the influences climate / weather has on vine growth and health, in the production system.
In her spare time she loves walking and exercising with her dog and also spending time with her family and friends enjoying all things wine, gin and food.
When Yael joined team Chromy for a vintage back in 2016, little did she know she was about to fall head over heels with all things Tasmanian – especially Chardonnay!
Yael graduated from the University of Adelaide with a masters degree in Oenology in 2011, and holds a WSET level 4 diploma since 2018. Early in her career she worked as a sommelier at Gordon Ramsay’s Michelin-starred restaurant in London and later at Melbourne’s Vue de Monde. Her passion for wine soon led her to explore the world of winemaking, where she honed her skills at some of the finest wineries across the globe, including Giaconda and Yarra Yering in Australia, Ramey Wine Cellars in California, and Binyamina, Ella Valley Vineyards, and Margalit in her home country of Israel.
But it was Tasmania and its cool climate wines that captured her heart, and in late 2020, Yael made the ultimate move to Launceston to become a full time member of the Josef Chromy team. Now, as assistant winemaker, Yael is continuously innovating and experimenting with new techniques to create exceptional wines that showcase the unique terroir of the region.
When she kicks off her work boots, Yael enjoys spending time with her young family and two Jack Russells, exploring Tasmania’s natural beauty, cooking up a storm, and jamming on the drums.
Felipe has over 15 years of experience working in Agriculture and especially in Vitiviniculture, his career spans internationally working in both Chile and Australia.
In Chile, he completed a bachelor’s degree in Agronomy, followed by a master’s degree in Business Administration. Whilst studying at university, Felipe worked in grape production, becoming passionate about it. After working for several years in the industry, Felipe decided to leave Chile, to travel and explore the world for a few years.
He arrived in Australia in 2017 and moved to Tasmania in 2021, enjoying the wonderful natural landscapes on the island. Since living in Tasmania, Felipe has rediscovered his passion for working in cool climate viticulture, where he joined Josef Chromy Wine at the end of 2021.
Sales Manager, Export & Trade
Having bribed his way across Russia at 18, taught English to Hong Kong execs at 19 and run out of money at 20, Dave was destined to find a dynamic industry to finance his backpacking. “If I can’t afford to stay there, I’ll work there” was the motto. So with a degree in hand and having worked as a sommelier in the UK’s Lake District in the mid 90’s, on returning home Dave took on various F&B and resort management roles at some of Australia’s iconic destinations. The eureka moment occurred while he was managing Seven Spirit Bay Wilderness Lodge in Arnhem Land and had a chance meeting with Len Evans. Enticing him deeper into the world of wine, Dave jumped the fence and became the Production, Sales and Export Manager for one of the pioneers of winery tourism in Australia (2002 – 2008 Warrenmang Vineyard & Resort).
Dave joined Josef Chromy Wines in mid 2008 after its first full financial year of operation with sales of 6,500 cases. In his own words, ‘rarely is there an opportunity to join a wine business in its infancy, and develop and personally execute its sales and marketing strategy’. In seven short years, sales reached 45,000 cases. The wines are now available nationally and in 14 international markets.
As a founding member of Tourism Australia’s Ultimate Winery Experiences of Australia, Dave has been instrumental in designing our guest experiences. Dave was one of 15 wine industry professionals identified in 2015 to participate in the Wine Australia Future Leaders Program to shape the future of the Australian wine industry and is currently a Director at Wine Tasmania.
Originally from New Zealand, Nick made the early career move to Sydney to learn the trade at the renowned ‘Restaurant Forty One’. After stints in upmarket eateries ‘Otto’ and ‘Coast’, Nick Spent time in London at the exclusive ‘Cuckoo Club’, working with some of London’s emerging talents.
Before returning to the southern hemisphere, Nick was a personal chef for the Royals of Oman, cooking for HRH the Queen, along with other Royals and political leaders. Returning to Sydney in 2009, Nick led the kitchens at ‘Public Dining Room’, ‘Steel’ and ‘La Scala’, cooking a full spectrum of cuisine styles from modern gastronomy, to charcoal and wood-grill cookery as well as classic Italian.
Starting with Josef Chromy Wines in 2016, Nick has developed a love for the ease of access to arguably the freshest, highest quality food available in Australia, right on his doorstep! With a love for the simple and pure cooking of each ingredient, Nick builds dishes into something special and unique to the surrounds of the kitchen.
The strongest influences on Nick’s career have been in French and Italian cuisine. His inspiration lies in the simplicity and care for each individual ingredient that comes with Italian cooking, paired with the balance and technique that is the basis of French kitchens. Bringing these techniques into modern Tasmanian cuisine provides an exciting and exploratory phase to Nick’s journey as a Chef.
Hospitality Sales & Events Manager
Melanie has been working in Tasmanian events and cultural activities since 2004, including stretches in the arts and festivals, and more recently in the charity sector. Melanie has a passion for delivering unique, specially tailored events for any client or audience, and is driven by a desire to create authentic and memorable events.
With a long history of managing outdoor events in the unpredictable Tasmanian weather, Melanie will be able to find creative and innovative responses to any of your event questions. From working with animals and marshalling thousands of runners, to curating intimate evenings and gala events, Melanie has experience with almost any event concept you can imagine.
When not managing events, Melanie loves to enjoy the wonderful dining scene Northern Tasmania has to offer, with a special love for all things cheese and seafood.