Albéric Guironnet

Posted on January 13, 2013 by  Lee Mccoy

Update: We now stock Valrhona chocolate!

Founded in 1922, Valrhona is a French manufacturer of quality chocolate. Alberic Guironnet, an artisan pastry chef from the Rhone valley, founded the company in the wine-growing district of Tain l’Hermitage under the name “La Chocolatier de Vivarais. It was not until 1947 that the company took on the name “Valrhona,” which was created by combining the words “valley” and “Rhone.” Alberic, a master of cocoa production, firmly upheld his philosophy to “use only the best to make the best” in the production of his chocolate, selecting only the finest, most rich and luxurious cocoa beans to be used in his factory. Thanks to Mr. Guironnet’s dedication to tradition and quality, as well as the desire of his successors to carry on his philosophy, Valrhona has maintained its position as one of the world’s finest producers of quality chocolate products.

Ecole du Grand Chocolat Valrhona
Today, Valrhona boasts 60 international distributors and five subsidiaries. The renowned chocolate company also maintains the Ecole du Grand Chocolat Valrhona, a school for professional chefs. The school maintains a focus on chocolate-based confections and pastries. Each year, chocolatiers and professional pastry chefs from all parts of the world travel to the famous school in Tain l’Hermitage to intently watch how this world-renowned producer of quality chocolates manufacture and create their delectable delights.

A New Concept in Packaging
Valrhona is known in the industry as the chocolate pioneer that introduced the tradition of displaying the percentage of cocoa solids and the origin of the beans on the packaging. With the introduction of their famous “Grand Cru” chocolate bars in the 1980s, Valrhona led the way for a new concept in the packaging and distribution of chocolate. The “Grand Cru” selection featured plantations such as “Guanaja,” Manjari” and “Caraibe.” Their “Chocolates du Domaine” line appeared in 1999 and carried the name of the region and vintage of the beans harvested.

What Sets Valrhona Apart
What makes Valrhona special is not just the taste of the chocolate, but the ingredients used in its production. The company takes pains to make certain that every raw material used in the creation of its luxurious and delicious chocolate is the absolute finest available. Similar to gourmet coffee, what really makes chocolate delicious is the beans. Valhrona sources its cocoa beans from some of the finest plantations around the globe. The company is also known for being the first to bring a cocoa plantation to the lush island of Trinidad, where some of the best cocoa beans in the world are now cultivated.

Yet another aspect that sets Valrhona apart from many of its competitors is the fact that the company refuses to use vegetable fat in the manufacturing of its chocolate. Vegetable fat sticks to the roof of the mouth, lessening the overall flavour of the confection and taking away from the joys associated with consuming a deliciously rich and luxurious piece of quality chocolate. The company insists on only using natural fat generated from cocoa butter, as it melts away more easily and allows the customer to fully experience the flavourful sensation of Valrhona’s chocolate.


Alan McClure

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