The Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery’s Annual Hot Chocolate Festival is back to take the classic winter-warmer to new heights.
An average of eight new hot-chocolate flavours are being introduced each week for the festival, adding up to 31 different hot-chocolate options over the month.
“The festival had 55,000 visitors last August,” says Ghita Loebenstein, the event’s marketing manager. “6000 hot chocs were sold.” This year there's a new kiosk to help service more customers.
The Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery has its own Belgian and French chocolatiers working on the new creations. “There’s some daring chocolate mixology going on,” says Loebenstein.
Debuting this year is The Wagon Wheel (a hot chocolate served with a marshmallow-and-chocolate-coated jam biscuit); Hot Gaytime (caramel toffee, crushed honeycomb and vanilla ice-cream mixed with milk chocolate); French Kiss (a layer of white chocolate melted into a hot chocolate); Magic Matcha (a green-tea and white-chocolate mix); and Ginger Meggs (a gingerbread-and-dark-chocolate mix).
Last year’s best-selling concoctions, including Chocolate Brownie, Mississippi Mud Pie, Nutella, Turkish Delight, Honeycomb & Lavender and Salted Caramel Popcorn, will also make an appearance.
If the number of options is overwhelming, opt for a 45-minute tasting session. You can you sample eight different flavours and watch a hot-chocolate-making demonstration.
Visitors are also invited to explore the venue’s showroom, and see the chocolatiers in action. Two-hundred-and-fifty handcrafted chocolate products and a variety house-made ice-creams will be sold on-site, many of which can be sampled for free.
Forty acres of rolling vineyards surround the festival and provide the perfect setting for a post-overindulgence stroll.
The Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery is at 35 Old Healesville Road (corner Melba Highway), Yarra Glen. The festival will run from August 1–31 everyday from 9am–5pm.
Entry to the festival is free. Tasting sessions must be booked in advance at yvci.com.au.
This article was updated on August 12, 2016.