Throughout the year, the Cité du Chocolat welcomes visitors to discover the myriad characteristics of that magical product called chocolate.
The staff at Cité du Chocolat has been guiding all these visitors by offering advice, instruction, samples and their undivided attention. The Cité du Chocolat Valrhona is today the most important chcolate discovery center in France and plays an essential role in the future Gastronomy World Valley.
THE RECIPE BAR
This is where they learn recipes for making chocolates and focus on ingredients, proportions, traditional components and more original raw materials. Take a seat at the table of aromas to sharpen your sense of smell by tasting and naming chocolates…
THE SENSORY STUDIO
Nibble, listen, watch and taste chocolate to truly appreciate its depth and complexity. Take your senses on an immersive journey that will surely surprise and never fail to delight!
Whether it’s a workshop that lasts a few hours or just a moment to taste a sample, you can share recipes, tricks of the trade and a passion for chocolate with a Valrhona pastry chef. It’s a rare glimpse into the big leagues.
Welcome to another world where chocolate is nothing but poetry and feelings. Get swept away by this ultimate experience, feel the thrill and live the passion of everyone who has dedicated their lives to the glorification of chocolate. An experience not to be missed!
Rub elbows with master roasters, conchers and blenders as you tour behind the scenes of the Chocolaterie. Marvel at how each of our experts follows a time-honored ritual to transform cocoa into some of the finest chocolate in the world.
THE WORLD OF CHEFS
Come meet pastry chefs, chocolatiers and bakers who spend their days making delicacies with chocolate. Immerse yourself in the world of these gourmet artisans as you admire their creations, artistry and technical skills. You can even try some out for yourself during your visit.
All aboard for a journey to the other side of the world where generations of passionate growers have been farming cocoa beans with unique skill.
L’ILE O PETITS
Cité du Chocolat created a special space just for the little ones where everything is built at their height and the only goal is to have fun. It’s a rest area for reading, drawing, playing games on touchscreen tablets, interacting and sharing their newfound feelings about chocolate with other kids.
THE COMPTOIR PORCELANA
When it’s time for an indulgent break – a chocolate-only snack, tasting or lunch – take advantage of a rare culinary adventure where chocolate is the main event…
WHY A CITÉ DU CHOCOLAT?
The Roots of the Cité
From “chocolate nights” to the Cité du Chocolat. The idea of the Cité du Chocolat was born in 2006 after many Valrhona-led educational events, including “Nuits du Chocolat” (1987) and, most notably, the “Destination Chocolat” exhibition (1992).
We staged this exhibition in several locations across France, including the Palais de la Découverte and the Musée Guimet in Paris, as well as in Marseille, Bordeaux and Strasbourg. Over 500,000 visitors traveled the world to come and learn how we select the finest bean varieties from over dozen countries to offer you exceptional chocolate.
Later, our presence at Salon du Chocolat events worldwide showed us that an instructive approach to chocolate was very popular with the public. Such enthusiasm gradually encouraged us to open our doors to the public.
Over the years, we were frequently asked by professional customers and gourmet consumers to visit the factory. Given that tours of food factories have become subject to increasingly tough constraints, and also that product quality and personal safety are among Valrhona’s top priorities, letting thousands of visitors into our production facilities is simply not possible. However, we wanted to invite all those with a passion for chocolate into our world, and so decided to create a chocolate discovery center on the historic Valrhona site, right next door to our factory and boutique.
Valrhona has been based in the centre of Tain l’Hermitage since the company was first established over 90 years ago. Nowadays, we also have a second, larger production facility on the edge of town. When developing the Cité, we felt it was vital to base it on our historic site and so truly show the world our heritage.
In 2006, we developed our exhibitions, with the aim of introducing the greatest number of people possible to the fascinating world of chocolate.
The exhibitions are designed to truly involve the visitors, encouraging them to draw on all their senses and interact with the various attractions on offer.
THE TASTE, THE CRAFT, THE CHOCOLATE
The Cité du Chocolat’s motto is “The taste, the craft, the chocolate” (“Le goût, le geste et la matière”).
The Cité is designed to let visitors into the virtual heart of the Valrhona factory and hear from the men and women who make our chocolate.
To build the Cité, we purchased two buildings next to the factory and then demolish them to create a new 2,000m² site to host the Discovery Centre. The exhibition design was created in 2008, and after seven further years of research and development, the Cité du Chocolat opened its doors in October 2013.
Today, more than 100,000 visitors have already explored the Cité!