Well renowned winemarker turned Artisan chocolatier, John Wade, creates and crafts exquisite chocolates. His connoisseur knowledge and palate from 40 years of wine making contributes to his creative and balanced combinations of flavours.Using our world travel planner, Denmark attractions like Dark Side Chocolates can form part of a personalized travel itinerary.
Read on for further information about John.
John Wade had been a successful wine maker for 40 years before venturing into the glorious medium of fine cacao chocolate.
‘There’s not a lot of difference between winemaking and chocolate making, in that it’s all about flavor, balance, structure, and using good raw ingredients. One’s a solid medium, one’s a liquid medium, and that’s about the biggest difference.’
Employing his connoisseur knowledge and palate, John Wade started making chocolate because one of his consultancies, Rickety Gate, wanted to put chocolate in their cellar door, to compliment their wines, as an added attraction.
John signed up for a short course in Melbourne and a new passion was ignited. Within the space of six months, John had completed 8 courses and in no time at all was developing his own unique recipes and producing handcrafted chocolates for his own street front shop.
John’s illustrious wine making career began with his first vintage in NSW in 1973, with Hollydeen Wines in the upper Hunter Valley. Since then, John has worked for Boroka Vineyards in Halls Gap, and at Wynns Coonawarra Estate, where he was chief winemaker until the end of 1985. John then came to Western Australia and started his own label, Howard Park Wines, in 1986. During that early time John did contract work for Alkoomi Wines at Franklin, Goundrey Wines in Denmark and Plantagenet wines in Mt. Barker. There were a lot of contract wines as well during that period and he became quite adept at handling the many different varieties grown in the Great Southern. He became well known for his skill with Riesling and Cabernet Sauvignon in particular.
John left Howard Park at the end of 1999, having sold his share, and went into consulting for a few years. He started making wine for Rickety Gate in 2003, and has been making wine for them ever since.
The wines used in some of the Darkside Chocolate’s range, are exclusively wines that John has made at Rickety Gate; the Sauvignon Blanc and the Shiraz.
John relates the art of winemaking to that of chocolate making,
‘It is the selection of excellent raw materials; the balancing of flavours; flavour compatibility, along with the recognition of inherent structural combinations. We are in an excellent position to create chocolates that express the terroir and regional tastes of the Australian bush.’
John sources complimentary flavours to contrast or compliment the base cacao characters. He uses the best local ingredients for his chocolates, and takes great joy in exploring Australian native bush essences, as well as other sweet and savoury flavours, with the appropriate choice of high quality cacao, to create delicious and captivating chocolates.
John uses mainly Swiss couverture made from the finest cacao beans, namely Criollo.
“Chocolate; (Theobroma Cacao) comes from the Latin, meaning – food of the gods- even just thinking about the word conjures up feelings of comfort, anticipation and contentment. Here at Dark Side Chocolates we make our chocolates for exactly those reasons.”
John Wade pours all his passion and savoir-faire into each and every chocolate, striving to achieve the ultimate in what he believes his customers are searching for – a small, delightfully sinful, decadent pleasure, as a reward for being good; a special recognition or thank you, to yourself, or to an exceptional other.
Dark Side Chocolates Reviews
We popped in here to take a look while in the visitors centre. Glad we did. Unique flavour combinations with emphasis on Australian bush foods. Everything we bought was delicious. Very high quality... more »
I've been to a lot of hand made chocolatiers - all over the world and the review for this were really over the top. Yes the flavors are quite unique but so are the prices and I have no idea if the... more »
I am so in love with these chocolates!!! Such amazing flavours, so unique. Love the spicy pepper and bush chocolates. Love the wine flavours also. Always amazing customer service.
Loved the wattle seed chocolate. Great to see native bush flavours.
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