HABITATION BELLEVUE, MARIE GALANTE

BATISTE is the first Rhum Agricole to be made in a CARBON NEGATIVE distillery. Carbon negative because the distillery creates 4 times more energy than it uses with bio mass and a 4.5 mega-watt solar farm. It creates new top soil easch season by having a large and active composting system and by not introducing poisonous chemicals to the soil when growing NON-GMO sugar cane.

 

THE PROCESS

The sugar cane, whether hand or machine harvested arrives at the Habitation Bellevue Distillery from all over Marie Galante in regular trucks or in the taditional way, in ox-driven carts. A sample is taken to obtain juice in order to asses the sugar grade. The farmner is paid not only by quantity, but also by quality.

GRINDING

The conveyor belt first runs the sugar cane through revolving mechanical knives pulping it before it is ground. Then the crushed cane is transported through a roller mill. Between two rollers the crushed cane is soaked with water to extract the sugar more easily at the next step. The juice from the mill, called "vesou", in old french, is subsequently strained to remove impurities and clarified. While the vesou is sent to the fermentation tanks the crushed cane or "bagasse" is transferred to a boiler to serve as a fuel source for both the mills and the column still.

FERMENTATION

During the season the Distillery fills about six 20,000 liter tanks a day. The fermentation starts one hour after grinding and lasts about 30 hours. The process plays an esential role in the final quality of the rhum. The natural yeast of the cane, supplemented by additional yeast (Saccharomyces Cerevisiae) turns the sugar into alcohol. The fermented juice is called "wine" and has 5-6% alcohol by volume.

DISTILLATION

The column stills are loaded with pre-heated sugar cane "wine". Steam coming from the bagasse-fed boiler is supplied to the base of the column thus heating the alcohol to boiling point. Then the wine enters a gas phase and rises into the cooler column head before returning to a liquid state (through condensation in the cooler). Stripped (alcohol-free) liquid is drawn off at the base and treated as waste water, while almost pure alcohol is condensed after migrating to the top of the column. The alcohol produced is 70 - 78% per vol. It will be stored in stainless steel or wooden casks or aged in oak barrels.

DISTILLATION

The column stills are loaded with pre-heated sugar cane "wine". Steam coming from the bagasse-fed boiler is supplied to the base of the column thus heating the alcohol to boiling point. Then the wine enters a gas phase and rises into the cooler column head before returning to a liquid state (through condensation in the cooler). Stripped (alcohol-free) liquid is drawn off at the base and treated as waste water, while almost pure alcohol is condensed after migrating to the top of the column. The alcohol produced is 70 - 78% per vol. It will be stored in stainless steel or wooden casks or aged in oak barrels.

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THE LAGOONING TECHNIQUE

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Distillery Bellevue is the first 100% green rum producing plant in the Caribbean with zero pollution and complete recycling of all wastes. The fermentation tanks contain 5% alcohol, 95% waste water. This waste water is collected in large environmentally safe outdoor lagoons. Aeration pumps are then operated to launch an erobic fermentation process. This treatment lasts between 7 - 9 months and the purified water returns to the cane fields while the potassium-rich sludge is also used as fertilizer during the next sugar cane growing season.

SOME FIGURES

1 ton of sugar cane = 1,100 litres (290.5 gallons) of juice = 60 litres (15.8 gallons) of pure alcohol or 120  1 Litre bottles at 50%vol.