Valrhona is a French chocolate manufacturer based in the small town of Tain L’Hermitage in Hermitage, a wine-growing district near Lyon, France. The company was founded in 1922 (1) by a French pastry chef, Monsieur Guironnet.
From the very beginning, Monsieur Guironnet sought after cacao beans that stood out from the usual fair. Once a small family company, VALRHONA employs 250 people and annually produces 3,500 tons of chocolate! What stays the same is Monsieur Guironnet’s mission to use the best to make the best. Valrhona sets the standards for much of the world.
Valrhona focuses mainly on high-grade luxury chocolate marketed for professional as well as for private consumption. Though considered one of the foremost chocolate makers in the world, Valrhona is in roughly the same price range as Godiva and Neuhaus. The product line includes chocolate confectionery, plain and flavored chocolate bars and bulk chocolate in bars or pellets. Valrhona produces vintage chocolate made from beans of a single year’s harvest from a specific plantation, primarily the Grand Crus which is grown in South America, the Oceania and the Caribbean. Currently three brands of vintage chocolates – Ampamakia, Gran Couva and Palmira – are in production with plantations on Madagascar, Trinidad and in Venezuela respectively.
1. ^  Valrhona 2. ^ International Herald Tribune, “Valrhona May Be Best, but Not Most Expensive : For Chocolate Lovers, Offer a Taste of Paradise” by Conrad de Aenlle. December 18 1999.