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The history of Ardèche dates back at least 32,000 years.




15,000 years before the cave paintings of Lascaux, prehistoric man exhibited tremendous artistic skill in a cave in Ardèche, incorporating the contours of the cave walls in both realistic and stylistic animal drawings. He also left some handprints and hand stencils, the paleolithic precursor of tagging.

A visitor to the heavily forested region can find Roman ruins, villages full of intact medieval buildings, and Renaissance architecture and art. 

But agriculture remains a dominant part of life in Ardèche with the widespread cultivation of orchards and vineyards. Chestnuts take center stage here. Approximately 50% of French chestnuts come from this small region and the quality and significance of the Ardèche chestnut is so important that it has its own Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) just like many other prized agricultural products from France.

Contemporary brewers recognize this heritage by incorporating the fruits of the land – including chestnuts – into their beers.