Renaissance chocolates is a jewel. Located several kilometres off the Murray Valley Highway, down Booraham East Road, you'll come across a dilapidated tin shed. Surrounded by eucalypts and bordered by a wood and wire fence you'd almost be forgiven for not stopping and not giving a second though to it. However, if you knew what this place was home to, you'd regret, and not be forgiven, for not stopping, especially if you didn't give it a second thought.
Inside this unassuming shed is a treasure for all chocolate lovers. The love that the owners Robyn and Neil Funston have for chocolate and the region is palpable. They infuse their chocolates with the best that the region has to offer - from Beechworth honey hidden inside a milk chocolate beehive to a Rutherglen muscat flavoured ganache truffle.
|From back: Rich caramel log, velvet vanilla, chilli block, ruby orange, beehive, cinnamon square|
Perhaps a little surprisingly, given the region that is probably better known for the full bodied reds and luscious fortified wines produced, there are some good sparkling wines to be found in Rutherglen. While a reasonably new-ish winery, only established in 1990, Cofield Wines is not short of experience with wine making running in the family for at least three generations. It is also best known for its sparkling wines, like the which was nice and dry (just the way I like it), so good in fact we couldn't resist bringing home a few bottles!