Stratus Vineyards and Soma Chocolatemaker Raise the Bar

NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, ON, Nov. 13, 2013 /CNW/ - Stratus Vineyards and Soma Chocolatemaker have raised the bar on traditional chocolate and wine pairing. Today they release the "Stratus Bar," a 70% chocolate made from Venezuelan Ocumare cocoa with vinous nuances from ageing, like wine, in a lees-filled oak barrel.

Pioneers in microbatch chocolate making, Soma's partners, Cynthia Leung and David Castellan, brainstormed with Stratus about using a wine barrel in an experimental chocolate making technique. It was winemaker J-L Groux who suggested that lees - the residual yeast cells from the winemaking process - might impart a more profound flavour to the roasted cocoa nibs. After three months of lees contact, Leung and Castellan were pleased to discover that the rest of their chocolate making method also further concentrated the desirable flavours. "It's not that it tastes like wine," says Leung, "but there is no mistaking the added fruitiness and top notes."

The experimental microbatch is being released today at both the winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake and at Soma's two locations in Toronto. The 80g bars retail for $12.

"We are delighted to partner with Stratus," says Castellan. "Our sense is that they occupy the same place in the wine world as we do in the chocolate world."

Soma is Toronto's first "bean-to-bar" chocolatier, with all phases of the process taking place on their site. Stratus Vineyards, established in 2000, is a sustainable, innovative winery located in the heart of Niagara, Ontario wine country. Stratus is dedicated to growing and producing limited quantities of premium wine on their 55-acre estate vineyard.

SOURCE: Stratus Vineyards Limited

For further information:

For more information and hi-res product photos, please contact:

Suzanne Janke
(905) 468-1806 ext. 228

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