Peter Wilson and his wife, Juliana Kennedy, decided to make chocolate early in 1999 after a wine marketing tour of Europe. Kennedy & Wilson in Victoria's Yarra Valley is the brainchild of Peter Wilson, one-time punk band manager, blood bank worker and, later, a wine maker at the esteemed Yarra Yering.  
Didier has bought to the company his amazing knowlege of chocolate fillings, which marry perfectly with the Kennedy & Wilson Couverture chocolate. Those lucky enough to get an invitation to an early morning visit to the factory, might be greeted with the heady aroma of strong coffee and one of Didier's croissant's or pain au chocolat cooking in the factory oven. Follow this up with a couple of his chocolates, such as NOUVELLE FRAMBOISE or TROIS FRERE (featuring Yarra Valley ingredients such as fresh raspberries or hazelnuts) and you soon realize that we are very lucky that this quintessential Frenchman chose Australia as his creative home. "Didier's joining us has brought so many new ideas and flavour combinations to our range. I would have to say that the only downside would be the increase in my waistline since he has been here".
   
 
Rounding out the team is our Sales Manager Christine Fryer. Christine joined K&W in 2002 and is our primary contact point for customer enquiries.
 

Peter Wilson began producing chocolate in 1996. "The idea behind Kennedy & Wilson Chocolates has its beginning in the town of Beaune in Burgundy in 1993". Wilson was traveling with the proprietor of the renowned Yarra Valley winery Yarra Yering. "We had traveled through England, Switzerland, Sweden, Portugal and finally ended up in France to see first-hand the excellent wines of Burgundy. After weeks of tasting wine and eating beautiful, rich food, I suddenly developed a huge craving for chocolate. I went to a corner shop and bought some Valrhona chocolate. The amazing thing about this stunning chocolate was that here was the first chocolate that I had ever tasted that had as much thought and care put into its production as we did with the wines at Yarra Yerring. It was obvious from its palate that this was chocolate of supreme quality".

Wilson returned to Australia with plans to produce the best quality chocolate possible in Australia. He and his partner Juliana Kennedy began the exhaustive search for the type of equipment necessary to make small batches of top quality chocolate. Even more difficult was the search for the highest quality ingredients: cocoa from South and Central America, Asia, New Guinea, the Carribean and Africa; milk and cream from New Zealand; vanilla from Vanuatu and Madagascar.

It took many years, and a good deal of trial and error to reach what the Kennedy and Wilson team considered to be the best blends for their chocolates. "We wanted to produce chocolate that tasted of chocolate, not just of sugar. So much chocolate is over-sweet. We took the alternative route, and produced chocolate that is high in cocoa mass, cocoa butter and cream."


"A lot of people say: 'Your chocolates are so rich
that we can only eat one or two at the end
of the meal' - and I am very pleased to hear that, because that is exactly what we are trying to do. They are a luxury." says Wilson.

It has resonance with Wilson's local
Yarra Valley winemaker's motto:
"Drink less. Drink better".

More recently, the Kennedy & Wilson team has been strengthened by the joining of the renowned chocolatier and pastry-chef Didier Cadinot.

 
Kennedy & Wilson: 203 Maroondah Hwy Healesville, 3777 Ph: 03 5962 6448