Valrhona has been producing the world’s finest chocolate in the small village of Tain L’Hermitage, France since 1922. From the beginning, company founder and Pastry Chef Albéric Guironnet was dedicated to the creation of unique, artisan quality chocolate with complex, balanced and consistent flavors. Very few chocolatiers go so far as to become growers. However, in order to learn more about cocoa, oversee its quality, and guarantee its refinement, Valrhona has mastered all aspects of the industry. It is in that spirit that Valrhona decided to open and operate its own plantations, first in Venezuela, and more recently, in the Dominican Republic.
In wine-making country, on the Rhône’s left bank, visit the home of Valrhona chocolate, favored by many of the world’s leading chocolatiers and chefs. Unusually, the chocolate is made only with natural fat from cocoa butter; no vegetable fat is added. Chocoholics will enjoy the chance to sample or buy at the factory shop, while professional chefs can study at Valrhona’s École du Grand Chocolat, a chocolate-cookery school.