Palliser x Wellington Chocolate Factory

New Festive Collaboration

Martinborough's Palliser Estate Winery has partnered with Wellington Chocolate Factory to make a limited-edition chocolate bar to pair with the winery's highly sought-after sparkling wine, 'The Griffin'.

The new Hibiscus & Blackberry Dark Chocolate Bar is sweet and floral like a hibiscus flower, has a succulent blackberry base, rounded out with a dash of cinnamon. The cocoa beans in the bar come directly from growers in Vanuatu, the first beans used by WCF in its new Grower Partner series. Beans are ethically and sustainably sourced from cocoa farmers, who are paid more than double the industry farmgate price - ensuring growers, their families, and the communities they support can live well and thrive. 

The new bar has been six months in the making and is a true labour of love between Palliser Estate and WCF. Ben McNabb, Assistant Winemaker at Palliser, says there are many similarities between winemaking and chocolate making. 

"When we make our wine, we look for flavour profiles, the balance of dry and sweet of the grapes - which is similar to how WCF makes its chocolate - cocoa beans (like grapes) are complex with many flavour profiles. We both also make products for people to relax, enjoy and celebrate with - especially with sparkling wine like The Griffin - we both want to bring people joy and pleasure," he says.

It takes three years to produce The Griffin, so something special needed to be created in pairing it with a chocolate bar. 

"The Griffin, with its blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes, is a wine that is a quintessential expression of Martinborough. Dry and higher in acidity, its delicious flavour, we believe, makes the perfect companion with the new Hibiscus & Blackberry Dark Chocolate. Collaborating with the team at WCF was a lot of fun and a true learning experience for me as a winemaker. I am super proud of what we created together because who doesn't love chocolate and bubbles?" Ben says. 

Gabe Davidson, Co-Founder of WCF, says it's the perfect bar to celebrate the festive season.

"Keeping in the Pacific theme, we used our Vanuatu chocolate as the base. This chocolate has a bright acidity from Hibiscus Flowers; and a fresh, floral, berry hit. It's ideal as a summer ‘quaffing’ chocolate, paired with a glass of the Griffin," Gabe says.

Wellington Chocolate Factory is launching the bar tomorrow at its new Christmas pop-up store in Lambton Quay (330A Lambton Quay). Palliser Estate is launching the bar this weekend at the vineyard, with renowned epicurean food truck Nara developing a signature dish made with and inspired by the WCF x Palliser chocolate. 

The Palliser & WCF Bar Hibiscus & Blackberry Chocolate Bar can be purchased here, in-store at the Eva Street Factory, the WCF Christmas Pop-Up store in Lambton Quay and from Palliser Estate.