Zotter

Sepp Zotter who is the founder of the Zotter chocolate company is a pioneer in the chocolate industry.

In Feldbach, the company is a bean-to-bar production, which means that they do every task themselves to produce their bars of chocolate. They also have a main goal to use organic produce and to pay the workers a fair loan, focusing on fair trade during the production.

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Visiting a chocolate factory is magical and nearly as good as the one from Willy Wonkas since you could try so many different products and different stages of the chocolate to-be.

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The chocolate tour starts with a movie that explains the company’s work ethic,  how the chocolate is made and makes you realize how special chocolate is.

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Please enjoy the show while you place your bum on these comfortable chocolate bags.

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Not all chocolate beans taste and smell the same,and it was great to get to know the different chocolate beans from all over the world.

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There is even a chocolate fountain from 100% chocolate without any sugar added. It tastes super bitter and I wonder how if that is tasty to anyone.

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I by far preferred the very sweet nougat fountains below, with the almond and hazelnut flavours being my favourites.

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I loved that tasting station!

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Chocolate with soy content in the shape of light bulbs, the tour is even great for vegans since a lot of chocolates are vegan-friendly.

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Lots of different Labooka Bars can be tasted here while you watch the workers down below, going after their work ;)

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Finally you get into the hot chocolate room with a splendid view over the animal park. Little gondolas are filled with different kinds of flavoured chocolate to help you decide to pick one. I went with Mango Lassi, one of my favourite drinks and enjoyed the view.

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We passed filled shower caps with breakfast flakes, of which I just had to buy the matcha flavour.

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In the next room we could try their bolleros, which are mainly fruit covered in chocolate. I loved their caramel bolleros and the raisins in chocolate which was melting in my mouth.

In the last room we tasted the handmade chocolate but those were my least favourite because the flavour combination can get really weird and most of the bars contain alcohol. If you are very adventurous and like alcohol you should try those out though!

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At the end of the tour you find yourself in the Zotter shop to buy all the things you loved during the tour.
The Mister and me spend a whooping 52€ on chocolate and happy left to wander off those calories in the animal park below after getting a Leberkäse because we were over sugared.

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You should visit the toilet, the walls are filled in cacao beans and there is an aquarium filled with piranhas!

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For lunch we went to the restaurant located in the animal park which offers biological and region sourced foods, manly from the garden itself.
I had a Beuscherl (and Austrian dish that contains innards, most common of a calf, in a cream sauce and dumplings) and the Mister went with a burger. The food was tasty and definitely worth a visit if you are craving something savoury.

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A very nice gesture, fresh bread is offered for free!

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Our yummy drinks made from the herbs that grow in the garden.

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Now off to the animal park!
You can take a framed picture of the Rieger’s castle, which is such a beautiful motive.

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They even have a small cemetery for the chocolate bars that “died” and did not make it in the long run. Most of these bars sound super weird and I can understand why it did not work out but a few did not seem that bad.

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Most of the animals enjoyed the sunshine like us and happily munched on the grass or hey.

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Who doesn’t enjoy a good pun? ;)

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Feldbach

Feldbach is only about one and a half hours away from Vienna and the perfect get-away to the famous Zotter company.

A tip: If you stay over night in a hotel from the first of March till the 31st of October you can ask for the Steiermark-Card. With it you can explore many attractions in Styria for free! So we did not have to pay the entry for the Zotter chocolate factory (felt like we had golden tickets), had a free tour through Vulcano Schinken manufacture and could have even visited several hot springs for free if we had stayed 3 nights.

The Zotter tour was amazing and I made so many pictures that I have to do an extra post about this experience and the chocolate :)

Vulcano Schinken is a very famous brand for high quality pork produce. The tour starts with a video and information about pigs and you get to see their livestock. The design for their entrance is quite original!

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You really notice how much love and care the producers put into their pigs and their final end products.
At the tour end, you get a plate with different samples, which were all delicious and made us by lots of products ;)

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In the evening we went to Therme Loipersdorf, which is a great place for both young and old. They have a “fun park” area with 4 slides, a panorama slide and a separate baby beach for parents with young kiddos. Then there is the swimming area with lots of outdoor pools and best of all the sauna landscape which is very extensive. It is definitely worth a visit and I recommend you to visit during the week at night. Not only, because you can relax in the hot outdoor pools and watch the stars but because the entry is cheaper from 6pm onwards and there are barely any people, making your stay even more relaxing.

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Sweet side of life – Chocolate

When we had a little stroll around Karlsplatz my darling and me stumbled over this shop called “Grand Whisky”.
He is the whisky drinker not me, but I was intrigued by the chocolate they offered.

Drawn in from the beautiful design, we decided to try Willies Cacao- Sambirano 71 and Chocolat Bonnat – with almonds.

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The chocolates had their price, Willies Cacao was 3,8€ and the Chocolat Bonnat was 5,8€.

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I could persuade him to be my hand model for the day. Wohoo!

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The chocolate Bonnet was very creamy and easily melts in the mouth (and on your fingers) but I missed the almond flavour a bit, some crunchiness from the almonds would have been nice. It was a good chocolate but the high price won’t let me buy it anytime soon again. Willies Cacao is still to be tested!

In case you want to check out the shop, here is a link to their website (only in german but hey google translate can help wonders ;)):
http://www.grandwhisky.at/

Heidi Chocolate

Heidi chocolate was founded 1994 in Switzerland and belongs to the Meinl group since April.

I first discovered Heidi chocolate in Poland where I had an Amazonas edition with the flavour, dark chocolate, passion fruit, lime and almond.
It tasted really great and I am delighted that Heidi chocolate is now also sold in Vienna (at the Meinl on Graben)

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There are lots of intriguing flavour combinations. These are the ones the boyfriend got me:

Pear and Almonds – self explanatory ;)

Mexico – Dark chocolate with Guava, Papaya and Chili

Himalaya – Goji berries, Pomegranate and Ginger.

Sicilia – Pistachio, Blood Orange and Basil

Florentine – Milk chocolate with caramelized Almonds

I loved Sicilia the most because the chocolate was fruity yet very rich with spices. It kinda reminded me of gingerbread if that makes sense.

Mexico and Himalaya both were not bad with a very fruity smell.
The Florentine chocolate was really crispy and crunchy with a slight hint of salt.

My least favourite was the Almond with Pears because the Pear flavour tasted too artificial.

shootingvienna109 Himalaya Chocolate looking fancy :)

Zotter – chocolate company

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Zotter is a famous chocolate company from Austria which focused already very early on fairtrade and biological ingredients.
“For this reason he is throughout Europe the only manufacturer who produces chocolates starting from the bean (bean-to-bar) exclusively in organic and fair quality!

shootingvienna63I love the fruity chocolate they have, the fruit tastes very authentic.

My parents visited the chocolate factory and were delighted. Even though they are not such big chocolate eaters they dug in quite a lot and there are lots of opportunities for this.
If you take a tour you should have lots of space for chocolate! There are many chocolate fountains, several opportunities to taste yourself through the chocolate and even drinking chocolate can be sampled.
Totally not recommendable for people on diet of course but life needs to be enjoyed! Here is the link to details regarding the tour: http://www.zotter.at/en/choco-shop-theatre.html

I ordered drinking chocolate because I love those the most. Not such a huge chocolate person but there is always place for kakao especially with such a cold weather we have in Austria now.. (10°C in end of Mai..seriously?)The flavours green tea + sesame and pumpkin seed nougat are some of my favourite drinking chocolate flavours they have. My mum also really likes the bird eye chili chocolate drink which has a pleasant heat.

In the beginning I was not too fond of Zotter because I would not read the ingredient list properly and would often buy chocolate with alcohol content which I don’ like at all but after tasting the chocolate my parents gave me I was sold not only for their drinking chocolate but also for their non-alcoholic chocolate bars :)

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Zotter has peculiar and very very veryyy weird flavour combos. (like the asparagus vetliner chocolate my parents bought)  I recommend a visit to their website to check them out: http://www.zotter.at/en/homepage.htmlThere is even a cemetary for chocoltes that are not produced anymore, which is a cute idea I guess. http://www.zotter.at/en/choco-shop/new-products/ideenfriedhof-revival.html

If I have time and go there myself there will be an updated post (with me gaining 3 kgs from all this amazing chocolate). It is not too far away from Vienna, about 2 hours only.