Valrhona has firmly established as the choice of chefs around the world. In fact, it has been through working shoulder-to-shoulder in collaboration with chefs that many of Valrhona’s product and flavor innovations have been born.
Producing chocolate couvertures in the small town of Tain-l'Hermitage, France since 1922, the company was created by French pastry chef, Albéric Guironnet. The name was composed in reference to the Rhône Valley (Val de Rhône), the region where the artisan chocolate house was born.
Valrhona is committed to the creation of unique artisan quality chocolates with complex and balanced flavors. The company has developed a process where employees of the company called "le sourceurs" or Valrhona Sourcers who travel the world to select the best plantations and the cream of the crop. In partnership with growers, the cocoa experts have developed high-quality beans with care.They have also improved their production methods to extract the most flavor from beans. In 1985, Valrhona was the first company to introduce the Grands Crus de Terroir Chocolate range to professional chocolate masters. For the first time ever, chocolate was made from the finest beans selected from specific geographic regions grown in South America, Oceania and the Caribbean. They went beyond and produced chocolate from specific vintage artisanal scale plantations such as Palmira, Gran Couva among many others. Valrhona set a new benchmark on how dark chocolate can be produced and taste. Dark chocolate generically referred as "bitter" evolved into a diverse profile of new products defined by cocoa percentages, a selection of fine cocoa beans sourced from specific regions and new methods to bring out the best of each cocoa bean respecting the true characteristics that define each variety, whether the bean is a Criollo, Trinitario, or a hybrid bean. The flavors, aromas and levels of bitterness are endless.
Origin and Cocoa percentage are elements that determine the chocolate profile but do not guarantee in any way the quality of the chocolate. The selection of beans along with a process of fermentation, drying, roasting, and conching must be performed with care to obtain a quality chocolate
For those who grew with the notion that only the best chocolate came from Switzerland, new parameters were set over the past 15 years. The new high standards of dark chocolate such as Valrhona are thankfully not restricted to the professional pastry arena but to those seeking quality product.