If the science of wine making and chocolate making are black arts then John Wade will perform the darkest of crafts in January by bringing these elements together in Rockcliffe winery in Denmark.
He was already a renowned winemaker throughout Australia before he found a new passion as chocolatier – the maker of artisanal chocolates.
And now this sorcerer of epicurean taste is combining his skills to showcase a new talent – his ability to conjure chocolates that perfectly compliment the flavours of some of Rockcliffe’s finest vintages.
“It’s new and it’s exciting,” says winery owner Dr Steve Hall.
On each Thursday in January at Rockcliffe, Mr Wade will reveal how fine chocolate is made, and offer tastings of chocolates and wines, with every confection handmade to match each vintage.
“Call it decadent, but it will be fun,” Dr Hall promised.
Mr Wade’s winemaking career goes back to 1973 when he crafted his first vintages in the upper Hunter Valley in New South Wales. He progressed to chief winemaker for Wynn’s Coonawarra Estate in Victoria, before coming to WA and launching in 1986 the Howard Park label.
He left 13 years later, took on a wine consultancy and studied the art of making chocolate before emerging as a chocolatier, trading as Dark Side Chocolates in Denmark Visitor Centre.
Combining his pursuits of wine and chocolate would only be a matter of time.
Rockcliffe wine and chocolate tastings take place at 6pm each Thursday in January. Book through Rockcliffe’s cellar door (Tel: 08 9848 1951) or Denmark Visitor Centre (Tel: 08 9848 2055).