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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

04/10/2017 - The Australian Wine Show

Being a native of Australia, Slow Living's Sally James is alway happy to have a chance to show off the wonderful food and wine culture of her home country.  In this week's episode, we are delighted to welcome Aaron Ridgway, Wine Austraia's Head of Market, Americas to give us some insight into the huge diversity of Australian wine. We'll also get a glimpse into some of the island continent's lesser known  wine regions, such as Tasmania, the Margaret River, Canberra's surrounds and the Hunter Valley.  


McLarenvale, South Australia


We then get a call in from Tasmania, from Dave Milne of Josef Chromy Winery to give us a picture of this small island's fine wine scene and the pioneering work of Josef Chromy.  Find yourself a good Tasmanian bubbles, South Australian jammy Shiraz or crisp Semillon from the Hunter, sit back and enjoy this entertaining show!




And find out  more about the exciting Wine Cruise Sally will be hosting, with Sonoma Napa
Wine Cruises, around the Southern Coast of Australia here.







Aaron Ridgway – Wine Australia Head of Market – Americas


Aaron Ridgway has worked in the wine sector for 14 years, in roles as varied as cellar door sales (Clonakilla), retail sales (Market Cellars, Camperdown Cellars), education and guided tours (Kamberra Winery) and, since 2010, in sales and distribution in the US.

Aaron co-founded the Fine Wine Agency in March 2010 before taking on a senior sales role at Langdon Shiverick Imports in 2011. Prior to joining Wine Australia in July 2016, Aaron spent four and a half years with Negociants USA, first as a region manager based in New York, and then as National Sales Manager based in California.

In his role as Head of Market, the Americas, Aaron is focused on raising the awareness and appreciation of Australia’s finest wines and regions among the key wine trade and sommeliers.

Wine Australia

Wine Australia supports a competitive wine sector by investing in research, development and extension (RD&E), growing domestic and international markets and protecting the reputation of Australian wine.

Wine Australia is funded by grape growers and winemakers through levies and user-pays charges and the Australian Government, which provides matching funding for RD&E investments.

Hunter Valley, New South Wales



















About Australian Wine:

Australia is home to some of the oldest grape vines in the world. Known for excellence and authenticity, Australian wines express the passion and craftsmanship of our winemakers and diversity from our unrivaled land. Australia has more than 2600 wineries, dotted throughout 65 wine regions in the country. Our unique climate and vast landscape enables us to produce an incredibly diverse range of wines which can be seen in more than 100 different grape varieties.

Australia is lucky to have a freedom and creativity to our wine culture that helps us lead in innovation and produce high quality and bold wines. Our wines express the diversity of the people who craft them and the unique regional characteristics of their origins.

Our wine regions are scattered with multi-generational families whose long standing dedication provides inspiration, leadership and custodial care of some of the country’s most precious vines and wines. Each winemaker, old or young, has a story to tell about their vines. 


Australian wine offers something to suit all tastes. Discover some of the world's oldest shiraz vineyards in South Australia's Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale, or award-winning Chardonnay in Western Australia's Margaret River. Visit the Hunter Valley, Australia’s oldest wine growing region with more than 150 wineries producing world class wines. Taste spectacular sparkling wine from Tasmania and acclaimed Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from Yarra Valley and Mornington Peninsula. Rutherglen is also home to magnificent fortified wines that are not to be missed.

Wine Australia supports Australian winemakers by investing in research and development, assisting with exports, market support and promoting and raising the profile of Australian wine domestically and internationally.

Wines we tasted and talked about:

Penfolds BIN 51 Riesling, Clare Valley, South Australia 2016
Cirillo, Survivor Vine, The Vincent Grenache, Barossa Valley, South Australia, 2015
Hunter Valley Semillons: Brokenwood, Tyrrells, Tulloch, McWillliams
Canberra Region Wines: Clonakilla, Lark Hill Wines, Helm Wines








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David Milne, 

Josef 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.



Josef Chromy OAM has been instrumental to 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.



About David Milne


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 to home, Dave undertook various F&B and resort management roles at some of Australia’s iconic destinations. T

he 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 as its Sales & Marketing Manager in mid 2008 after its ­first full ­financial year of operation and sales of 6500 (9litre) cases. Recently graduating from Wine Australia’s Future Leaders Program, Dave was one of 15 wine industry professionals identi­ed in 2015 to participate in the program to shape the future of the Australian Wine Industry.