Ahrens latest project a sweet success

Ahrens’ latest project has proven to be a sweet success with locals and visitors to the Barossa Valley.

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment David Ridgway and Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone, officially opened the Barossa Valley Chocolate Company on April 12th.

However, the venue had a soft opening in early April and already has been abuzz with people flocking to check out the region’s newest attraction.

Photo by Duy Dash

The $5.5 million-dollar facility completed by Ahrens combines a chocolaterie, retail shop, café, ice creamery and cellar door, nestled amongst mature gum trees and vineyards.

Barossa architect, Jamie Gladigau of JBG Architects, designed the facility, continuing a long-relationship of local projects with Ahrens.

Works included the construction of the 1375 square metre building complete with functioning chocolate producing facility, amphitheatre, cellar door, kitchen, 150 seat café, retail area, point of sale areas, landscaping and a deck under the main roof, overlooking a fabricated lake.

Photo by Duy Dash

The venue offers several design focal points including a chocolate waterfall that consists of real chocolate, a stone fireplace, the picturesque man-made lake, and a viewing window to the chocolaterie, which plans to initially produce 50 tonnes of chocolate a year.

The Barossa Valley Chocolate Company was the brainchild of owners Chris and Sandy Day who collaborated with Food and Beverage Australia Limited (FABAL) to see their idea come to fruition.

The venue takes inspiration from destinations around the world that have already perfected the art of pairing beautiful locally produced chocolate with local wines. 

The cellar door will showcase FABAL’s Vineyard Road wines and offer paired chocolate and wine tastings.

Officially opened just in time for Easter and the school holidays, Mr Ridgway welcomed the addition of the chocolate company to the Barossa’s tourism offering.

“The Barossa Valley Chocolate Company is a fantastic addition to the Barossa Valley tourism mix,” Mr Ridgway said.

‘Appealing to children and adults alike, it is sure to bring an influx of visitors to the region.”

 Speaking at the opening, Mr Ridgway said he commended all those involved in creating this world-class facility.

“It is a significant investment and contribution into South Australia’s visitor economy that will create jobs for locals and increase the already outstanding appeal of the Barossa Valley,” Mr Ridgway said.