Honey production has been very important in Haute-Provence since the 15th century.
Lavender is one the region's most famous honeys and is made by only a few producers in the region around Banon and Valensole, where the lavender fields grow.
Philippe Chailan is one of these producers and it is from him that we chose to source our lavender honey.
The Chailan family have been producing honey for over 3 generations. Their apiary has 600 hives and, as with sheep, the bees are moved between different locations throughout the year. Mr Chailan's hives spend winter near the Cote d'Azur in the Esterel mountains, where the climate is a bit warmer than Haute-Provence. In springtime, the hives are moved to the Verdon river.
When the lavender is in bloom over the summer, the hives are spread out around Valensole’s fields so the bees have easy access to the fragrant plants. This traditional process is part of the reason we were so confident that Philippe Chailan makes his honey to exacting standards, ensuring the best quality. His knowledge of honey is exhaustive and he has a real passion for sharing and educating people, particularly on the wonderful benefits of raw honey.
His effort and dedication to quality in the production process has seen him receive 2 prestigious labels reflecting the quality of his products: the IGP designation for all his honeys confirms their origin from the heart of Haute-Provence, while his liquid lavender honey has received the famed Label Rouge which guarantees it is of the highest quality.
Lavender honey production usually begins in August once the lavender has blossomed, and takes place through to September. The honey extraction is strictly mechanical. It's naturally filtered to remove some organic matter and any foreign. Philippe Chailan only uses gravity to filter his honey, allowing it to lie in jars in its natural state.
The honey is then kept in barrels, away from sunlight and at 8 to 10°C. According to demand, it's then transferred to pots or jars. Throughout the production process, the honey undergoes several quality checks for taste, scent, and consistency, as well as ensuring the honey’s content matches its appellation.
All Philippe Chailan's honeys are 100% chemical free.
To find out more about each of our producers, simply select that producer's photo from the slideshow below.