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KL Keller Foodways is an importer and producer of artisanal food products from Europe, the US and Australia.

The story of how Kitty Keller got her exclusive on this prize

World-Renowned Banyuls Vinegar

on Saturday, 14 January 2017. Posted in Import Chronicles

World-Renowned Banyuls Vinegar

A challenging start

"Before importing Banyuls Vinegar, I had to make six phone calls for an appointment with the the producer, La Cave de L'Abbé Rous. The export director finally agreed to meet.

I started off at about eight a.m., driving with my French friend, Isabelle. We left with plenty of time to spare, but with the horrible traffic, it took us a whole hour just to get out of Aix-en-Provence. Along the way, we ran into three detours.

Hunger pangs

As we were headed up the hill to Banyuls, I told Isabelle "We have to stop and grab a sandwich to go. The bottom is falling out of me, and I have to be on for this appointment."

Isabelle looked at me steadily and said "We're stopping and having a proper lunch. No one in France has ever missed lunch for a business appointment." So we did. We enjoyed yet another stupendous French lunch, and emerged refreshed.

Meeting The Director

We showed up at La Cave de L'Abbé Rous three hours late, and there stood the export director—a women of a certain age in a silk brocade suit. Isabelle marched ahead of me, "Madame, we are sorry we're late, but we had to stop and have lunch."

KLKeller Rene creator of Vinegar of Banyuls

And this terrifying woman said "I'm so glad you did. Welcome. Please come upstairs." She told us she thought most Americans run about like ants, and now she knew I was one of the smart ones.

Thanks to choosing a good meal over business, I won the Banyuls Vinegar, and we still have an exclusive on it to this day."

 —Kitty Keller


Kitty Keller with René Quintane, then Head of Cellar at Banyuls, circa 2001



Favored by top chefs

Banyuls Vinegar—it's the least-known vinegar in American kitchens, and the most-used vinegar in fine American restaurants—it is, for instance, the vinegar used in the house dressing at Chez Panisse.


What happens if you cook some chicken with onions and there's a lovely crust at the bottom of the pot? Deglaze it with Banyuls Vinegar and you've got your exquisite sauce. With its hint of residual sugar and the six years it spends in oak casks, it elevates pretty much anything it touches.


Try Kitty's recipe for Scallops in Banyuls Vinegar Reduction. Easy and exquisite!



KL Keller Foodways
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Oakland, CA 94618

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