Having received three Top Gold and sixteen Silver Medals at the 2021 SA Dairy Awards, Tanunda’s Barossa Valley Chocolate Company shows it pays to be a local.
Barossa Valley Chocolate Company recognised as Tanunda’s top chocolatier
If you find yourself at Barossa Valley Chocolate Company’s Tanunda home base unable to decide exactly what you should be taking home, the judges of the 2021 SA Dairy Awards have a recommendation for you.
The panel awarded Top Gold to two pralines, the Vanilla Bean Truffle and Simply the Zest, and to the Dark Chocolate with Lemon & Raspberry block.
Head Chocolatier Amy Sajinovic explains what makes these three products so special is their South Australian influence.
“Our Vanilla Bean Truffle is made with local cream and Madagascan vanilla bean, which we hand roll with rich 56 per cent Dark Belgian Chocolate,” says Amy. “Simply The Zest was a brand-new concept Chocolatier Angela Centofanti developed to enter. It’s made with fresh lemon juice, Adelaide Hills honey and native lemon myrtle and white chocolate. It’ll make a great addition to our range.”
These two pralines join the company’s solo Top Gold Medal winner from 2019, their collaboration with Barossa Valley Cider Co., which has an apple-cider-infused caramel centre.
Other pralines in the range also feature local producers, including Barossa Distilling Co. gin, Chateau Dorrien orange mead, Vineyard Road Barossa Valley wines and an exclusive Barossa Bean Addiction coffee roast.
The third Top Gold winner wasn’t a shock to those in the know. The Dark Chocolate with Lemon & Raspberry Block is their top-selling dark chocolate block by several hundred units, using 56 per cent Dark Belgian Chocolate to balance the bold punch of fresh lemon with sweet and ripe freeze-dried local raspberries.
Like the pralines, all the chocolate blocks are also made entirely by hand in their Tanunda production facility, with every block being hand-piped and local ingredients favoured wherever possible.
Visitors can watch the chocolatiers at work as they create their range of 250+ products through the 14-metre viewing windows that look from the retail space into the production kitchen. Honeycomb, peanut brittle, fudge, gelati and Turkish Delight production arguably provide the best entertainment.
“It’s rare these days to have a business where nothing leaves the site, not even to be packed,” says General Manager Marcia Frost. “Since the business opened during Easter 2019, nothing leaves Tanunda until it’s taken home by the customer, which is pretty remarkable.”
Marcia notes that Barossans are a “proudly provincial bunch”, which has extended to the facility’s café’s new all-day dining menu, created by head chef Aaron Hill, who most recently worked at Vintners Bar & Grill in Angaston.
“Aaron’s new menu champions regional produce. Apex Bakery bread, Steiny’s smallgoods, Barossa Valley Cheese Co. cheeses, Maggie Beer fruit paste, Torzi Matthews’ olives – they all make an appearance,” says Marcia, noting that it’s a welcome bonus to be able to order a chargrilled scotch fillet at 10.00am, or a full breakfast at 3.30pm.
“We are a unique destination in the region and want to cater for all visitors, but particularly locals. Given the ongoing challenges in tourism, our relationships with those closest to us is more important than ever. That informs decisions we make in both the Café and Chocolate Kitchens,” says Marcia.
No matter how far you need to travel – be it down the road or across the state – the Barossa Valley Chocolate Company, with their focus on local produce and handiwork, will be worth the trip.