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About us

We are hybrids. . .we run on chocolate and wine.


Bienvenue à Cocoa & Grapes

My name is Joyce Halsey Gay, owner of Cocoa & Grapes and your tasting guide.

I discovered Carcassonne in 2005, while looking for a place to call home in France as I continued to work abroad. Originally from America, I found myself captivated by the citadel of La Cité and felt at home walking next to the Canal du Midi, so I began spending summer holidays in nearby villages. In 2015 I left school bells behind and made my home here with my husband and our two dogs, Lexie and Guinness.

Always delighted by the area’s viticulture and cuisine, in 2016 I studied with local expert and Master of Wine Matthew Stubbs and was awarded the WSET Level 2 Wines Certificate with Distinction. Exploring local wines became even more fascinating, and I knew that I wanted to continue learning and sharing with others what makes this once-underrated region so amazing.

In 2023, I studied at Valrhona's Cité du Chocolat and was awarded the Level 1 Certificate in Chocolate and Cacao Tasting from the IICCT in London. The two qualifications are a perfect match, enabling me to provide tour guests with background regarding the history, production and flavour profiles of local wines and chocolates.

While working in international education, I enjoyed many walking and tasting tours and experienced what makes an engaging and satisfying tour experience. Following in the footsteps of C&G founder Brent McTavish, I will provide you with facts, folklore and fascinating stories about Carcassonne, chocolate and wine as we stroll through a picturesque sector of La Bastide (which looks over the River Aude to the fortified medieval La Cité), visiting local treasures and sampling their wines and chocolates.







Join us! I look forward to sharing my love for the region’s wines and fine chocolates with you through a Cocoa & Grapes Carcassonne chocolate and wine tasting food tour.

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