How about Vintage Plantations review


Founded: 1993
Headquarters: Newark, NJ
Style: Rustic
Characteristics: rough, rugged, & unpredictable
Ferment: often short & youthful
Roast: erratic
Conche: the better aspect of its processing
Impact: Advertises ethical chocolate working in conjunction with Rainforest Alliance in an uphill battle to protect heirloom cacáo, practice sustainable farming / forest conservation, & promote fair pricing for growers. How much is actually achieved remains suspect, opening it to charges of Rainforest ‘Dalliance”.Vinyage Plantation once operated the University of Chocolate — a part outdoor cacáo seminar / part herbal-medicine journey thru the Amazon Rainforest. Several of its graduates eventually formed the core of the New American micro-processors in craft chocolate.

Apparent over the course of Plantations’ 2 decades worth of vintages is the degree to which severe hybridization among traditional Nacional tree stands (essentially Ecuador’s ‘criollo’) has been infiltrated by clonal CCN-51 & other hybrids widely planted there. The net result is that the glorious Ecuador chocolates of yore – highlighted by jasmine, geranium, & blackberry accents – are in danger of becoming a vanishing memory, replaced by subclones & ever-greater marketing hype surrounding ‘Arriba’. Just another casualty of the modern cocoa industry.

As such, the company operates in flux as it moves away from an exclusively Ecuadorian-based cocoa to broaden its reach to other origins (nearby Peru &, farther afield, Central America) while maintaining an ethical approach.

Also of note: Vintage Plantations produced one of the few truly vertical-tasting catalogs in all of chocolate, spanning the range… from Milk to Semi-Dark & Dark, all the way up to Brut… of a single-origin estate – Rancho San Jacintho, Ecuador (another vertical catalog from the same country of source was Coppeneur’s Iara Estate portfolio).

Crown Jewels

Milk Chocolate
Milk Chocolate
by Vintage Plantations
Cacao Pulp
Cacao Pulp
by Vintage Plantations

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