A sweet addition to region

A sweet new agritourism venture is set to attract a fresh set of visitors to the Barossa.

Taking inspiration from the Margaret River Chocolate Company in Western Australia, Barossa Valley Chocolate Company will showcase the best in local food and wine alongside a selection of gourmet chocolates.

And a $750,000 state government grant is set to help establish the $3.7 million family-friendly facility.

Chocolate Ventures Pty Ltd is a partnership between SA companies OMG Australia and FABAL Group and last week, FABAL director Chris Day welcomed the news of its successful Regional Development Fund grant.

“We’re very grateful for government’s support,” he said. “We wanted to find a way to value-add agritourism (in the area).

“We took the best ideas we found in Margaret River and the best ideas we found in the Yarra Valley (Vic) and put them all together for the BVCC and Vineyard Road cellar door.”

FABAL Group – which has had interests in the Barossa for 18 years – operates 20 vineyards across Australia totalling 1500 hectares.

“We are going to put this on the property we’ve owned for the past 18 months on Burings Road, Tanunda,” Mr Day said. “We want to keep the majority of the property as vineyard – the footprint of the building will be less than 1ha (of the 16.5ha block).”

The project will include the introduction of a chocolatier kitchen, cafe and cellar door. Between 20 and 30 full-time ongoing jobs will be created on completion, along with up to 15 during construction.

“We want to employ locally – this is all about employment in the Barossa,” Mr Day said.

The project is being managed by JBG Architects with the development application yet to be presented to the Barossa Assessment Panel, and Mr Day said public consultation would commence soon.

“The BVCC wants to cater for all demographics, showcase the best of the best in local food and wine and our selection of gourmet chocolates will give us a great point of difference for families and those with a sweet tooth who are looking to indulge,” he said

“It’s part our strategy to provide an agri-tourism experience to three or four generations of one family all at the same time in Australia’s premier wine region.”

The centre will cater for non-drinkers, minors and family groups who are seeking both wine and non-wine experiences during their visit to the Barossa.

“This new family friendly chocolate company will be a very valuable addition to the world famous wine and food products already offered in the Barossa Valley,” Regional Development Minister Geoff Brock said.