Sunday, 5 February 2012
Itineraries Announced For Seventy%'s Chocolate Holiday Tours
Led by Seventy%’s founder and editor, Martin Christy, the holiday tour programme includes visits and direct access to the regions’ pre-eminent chocolate makers and chocolatiers.
Holidaymakers with a less refined understanding of fine chocolate need not be put off - as one of the world’s leading bean-to-bar chocolate experts, Martin will use his expertise to help the group develop their understanding, with a welcome talk that includes chocolate samples and tasting notes, as well as guidance throughout the tour.
The five-day Chocolate Masters of the Lower Rhône tour takes in visits to some of France’s oldest and most established chocolate producers, including:
• The original Bonnat shop in Voiron - something of a site of pilgrimage for fans of fine chocolate - followed by an exploration of the factory
• Chocolaterie A. Morin in Donzère, where the cocoa beans are roasted, ground and conched onsite in their own workshop
• Pralus in Roanne, home of the famous praluline bar
• Artisan chocolate house, Bernachon, Lyon, typified by its house speciality, Le Palet d’Or, made from fresh cream and dark chocolate adorned with gold leaf
• Other activities include a specially-designed chocolate dinner at a local restaurant
The five-day Chocolatiers of Florence and Tuscany tour is packed with specially arranged visits to eminent chocolatiers from across the city and the Tuscan Chocolate Valley, including:
• Andrea Bianchini, often referred to in Italy as the ‘King of Chocolate’
• Rivoire, master of its art for a century and a half, Rivoire has been producing chocolate on its site in the heart of the city since 1872
• Vestri, produces chocolate from its own organic cacao finca in the Dominican Republic
• Luca Mannori in Prato an innovator and international award-winning Relais Dessert and Maître Chocolatier
• Roberto Catinari in Agliana, considered the ‘father’ of all Tuscan artisan chocolatiers
• Slitti in Monsummano Terme, the first non-Frenchman to win the prestigious Grand Prix de la Chocolaterie de Paris
• De Bondt, Visignano-Navacchio, listed in Chantal Coady’s prestigious, The Chocolate Companion, as one of the 15 top chocolate manufacturers in the world
• Other activities include a private chocolate tasting led by their local expert Monica Meschini
Both tours include travel, accommodation in a 4* star hotel and free time for guests to explore the local area.
Details of an additional Chocolate Connoisseur Tour, taking in a plantation trip and the fascinating cacao trail of Ecuador, will be announced later in the year.
With seventeen years’ experience of fine chocolate, Martin Christy has travelled the globe visiting cocoa plantations and meeting the world’s top producers. He was a founding member of the Academy of Chocolate in the UK and is a consultant to the fine chocolate and cacao growing industries worldwide. As well as his regular online chocolate blog, he has written features for UK magazines and has worked on several books about fine chocolate, including 'The Connoisseur's Guide to Chocolate' (Apple Press, 2007).
As one of the most comprehensive chocolate sites in the world, Seventy% brings consumers, professionals and industry producers together as a community to learn the finer distinctions of cacao and chocolate and the importance of a direct connection from ‘bean to bar’. In doing so it helps support the continued growth and development of the cacao and chocolate market, from the ground up.
• Full itinerary for Chocolate Masters of the Lower Rhône
• Full itinerary for Chocolatiers of Florence and Tuscany