Ahrens latest project a sweet success

Ahrens’ latest project, Barossa Valley Chocolate Company, has proven to be a sweet success with locals and visitors to the South Australian region.

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.

Works included the construction of the 1,375 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, picturesque man-made lake, and a viewing window to the chocolaterie, which plans to initially produce 50 tonnes of chocolate a year.

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

Photo by Duy Dash

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 showcases FABAL’s Vineyard Road wines and offers paired chocolate and wine tastings.

The venue was officially opened just in time for Easter by Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment David Ridgway and Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone.

Mr Ridgway said this latest attraction was a welcome addition to the region’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.