In 1922, an Artisan pastry chef, Albéric Guironnet, opened a chocolate factory, the Chocolaterie du Vivarais, in Tain l’Hermitage (France), known today as Valrhona. Planter, Selector and Blender, Valrhona has cultivated a passion for rare, high quality cocoa beans around the world: the origins of exceptional chocolate. As opposed to current practices, Valrhona does not buy its cocoa at random from fluctuating and erratic markets, but rather involves itself at the source of cocoa production. To Valrhona, the notion of origins is not a quality in itself, unless it is determined by the strict demands born of a passion for taste. A blend of fine cocoa beans of different varieties and origins, specifically combined to reveal all of their aromatic potential. The taste of Valrhona products is acknowledged, both by professionals and chocolate gourmets, as being frank, typical, complex… in a word, exceptional. For over 15 years, Valrhona has built up a “cacaothèque”, a data bank recording information about the taste and flavour of each variety of cocoa analysed. It is from this data that the chocolates of the future can be assembled along with the pure origins. Taste is the fundamental criteria for quality at Valrhona, and our sensorial analysis laboratory is one of the most exclusive in the profession. More than 160 people from the chocolate making industry constitute the tasting juries for raw materials, products in the course of development or finished products.