Mauritius is bestowed with numerous unique attractions and destinations that have caught the attention of hundreds and thousands of tourists from all over the world; one of the most excellent examples being the Rhumerie de Chamarel.
It is a restaurant and rum distillery, enjoying a favourable location in one of the most visited tourist destinations towards the south-western part of Mauritius - Coloured Earths of Chamarel. This eco-friendly estate is spread out over an area of 300 metres above the coast and houses an agricultural plantation, beginning with the lines of sugarcane plantations along with pineapples and other tropical fruits growing on both sides of the road leading to the Rhumerie.
The Rhumerie de Chamarel is reputed as one of the rarest active distilleries with its sugarcane cultivation. It is primarily used for the production and manufacturing of the Chamarel wines after being exclusively selected and carefully grown as a result of which it achieves the excellent quality, which they would like to keep as a secret. The crop is never burned even after being harvested by hand, that mainly takes place from between July to December. The Master Blender has to trace and identify the various types of crops and then separating the lots for the Old Rums and the White Rums.
To preserve the authentic aroma and maintain the freshness of the harvested sugarcane, it is transferred to the Distillery within 4 hours. The first step in the production process is the filtration of the pressed sugarcane juice, followed by its transfer to the 25 Hectolitre stainless steel vats where the alcoholic fermentation begins. Another secret lies here regarding the usage of selected yeasts and adhering to controlled and well-supervised parameters to develop the unique combination of this aromatic beverage.
Furthermore, the Distillery is equipped with some distillation techniques, all credits going to the modern technology and devices. The White Rum is distilled is a specially designed Barbet plate column made of copper which separates the heads, heart and tail and ensures a top quality output. Two 20 Hectolitre copper stills are used for the Double Distillation Rum and following this technique helps in achieving an outstanding finesse. It's quite an unusual method involved in the production of Rum, which gives a unique output.
Once the distillation process is completed, the rum is then stocked in stainless steel vats for six months where it undergoes a slow and gradual reduction in its alcoholic aspects which is very important to acquire the necessary fullness in its taste. Next comes the most vital part, the ageing. After a portion of White Rum is transferred to the cellars, they are stored in a permutation and combination of different barrels, ovals, casks, American and French oak for a period of at least 18 months to up to 3 to 6 years and it allows the rum to attain the ideal texture, aroma and colour.
The Guided Tour
The most significant feature of the Rhumerie de Chamarel is that it is designed in such a way that it promotes a comprehensive tourism experience for those who visit the premises. The building was created so harmoniously by the famous Mauritian architect that it blends with its surroundings perfectly. You get a natural feeling from the stone, wood and water in the vicinity and make it one of the most beautiful factories in the world. The experienced guides who are fluent in both English and French will take you on a guided tour and get you acquainted with the behind the scenes of the Rhumerie where the actual rum making process takes place. They will give you a detailed explanation of the different techniques used throughout the production process in the distillery.
One of the major highlights of the guided tour is the Rum tasting which is scheduled at the end of the trip. You are offered with a unique selection of agricultural rums, which is made different than the traditionally produced rum from the distillation of molasses; agrarian rum is a result of a distilled pure cane juice. In the course of your rum tasting, you can choose from the White Rum, Chamarel Liquors, Coeur de Chauffe, the Old Rum and other exotic flavoured rums.
The speciality of the Rhumerie de Chamarel is that they emphasis mainly on high quality and eco-friendly production of the agricultural rum. The sophisticated process beginning with growing the plants, harvesting them, and going all throughout its fermentation and distillation is handled acutely by skilled professionals to maintain uniformity in its quality. They also focus on sustainable development and environmental measures such as recycling and nothing is wasted throughout the entire process. The residue remained after the extraction of the cane juice is used as an energy source, the fumes are well filtered before putting it out into the atmosphere, the ashes produced from the burning is used as a fertiliser and is spread throughout the fields.
The guided tour generally lasts for 30 to 40 minutes, but you are always free to visit the two other segments other than the distillery:
Sugarcane Spirit Shop
You get a chance to buy beautiful products and authentic drinks like the local rum produced within the distillery. Other than that, you can also go for the various Mauritian crafts and jewels and choose according to your likes from the exclusive line of clothing that is created by the Rhumerie itself. All of these items can serve as an excellent souvenir too!
Tickle your taste buds with the unique Mauritian cuisine in the L'Alchimiste restaurant featuring dishes that are prepared from the locally harvested ingredients from that estate. You can enjoy the breathtaking views of the mountains and plantations surrounding the property while savouring the exotic delicacies like palm hearts accompanied by the excellent wine imported from France.
So come and visit this extraordinary place in Mauritius and indulge yourself with all the information and entertainment related to the rum making process at Rhumerie de Chamarel!