Nut job: secrets of an AOP noix man

Noix de Grenoble
Walnuts harvested at Christian Nagearaffe’s farm in Drôme

Autumn means walnut harvest, so Jane Hanks spoke to a Grenoble producer to learn what goes into producing high quality noix

Now is the time to eat walnuts as the harvest has just finished in most parts of France, with the last nuts collected at the beginning of November.

France is the biggest producer of walnuts in Europe, and the second exporter in the world, with the main region centred around Grenoble in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and the second region in the Aquitaine.

There are two areas with an Appellation d’Origine Protégée: one is the AOP, Noix du Périgord given in 2002 for the Corrèze and the Dordogne, and the second is the Noix de Grenoble, which this year celebrates 80 years as an Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée, AOC (the prestigious French label for an AOP, which is the European term and was only introduced in 1992) and an AOP.

The Noix de Grenoble is grown along the Isère valley and covers three departments: the Drôme, Savoie and Isère and 261 communes with around 7,000 hectares of orchards. ...

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