In the south west of Mauritius you will find the charming village of Chamarel. You can spend a full day in this place, starting with the Seven Coloured Earths, then Curious Corner, ending with Rhumerie de Chamarel. This part of the island is very fertile and green with beautiful waterfalls and agricultural production.
Tour of Rhumerie de Chamarel
Rhumerie de Chamarel is open every day except Sunday. We made a reservation for a late lunch at the L’Alchimiste restaurant and therefore the tour was complimentary. It is worth having lunch but it is necessary to make reservations because it gets filled with groups of tourists who go by bus. The chef has a gourmet menu with ingredients that are grown on the property like heart of palm. They have many exotic meats like deer, duck and wild boar.
If you do not want to eat, you can simply buy a ticket and take the tour. These tours are usually offered in English or French, but if requested, they also can be organized in German or Chinese. The design of the rum distillery is really beautiful. Maurice Giraud was the architect who designed the building which respects nature. You will find pieces of wood, stone and water like the fountain at the entrance.
For 30 minutes you will go with a guide through the factory, who will explain the rum production process. Unlike traditional rum produced by the distillation of molasses, agricultural rum is obtained by distilling pure cane juice, a process that gives it its specific aromas and flavors.
The best part of the tour is the tasting at the end where you can try the aged and premium rums. I preferred the liqueurs that have added flavors such as vanilla, coffee, tangerine or coconut.
If you like rums you can buy them at the souvenir shop on site. They also sell local crafts. The rums were good but I liked better the ones from Domaine de Labourdonnais.
In 2008 the Rhumerie de Chamarel opened after they changed legislation in Mauritius that prohibited the elaboration of special rums. The motto of the place is “A dream is not a place but a trip …” It was a project of the Beachcomber hotel chain owner that has 8 hotels in Mauritius, some of these hotels are Shandrani Beachcomber Resort & Spa – All Inclusive en Blue Bay, Royal Palm Beachcomber Luxury en Grand Baie and Paradis Beachcomber Golf Resort & Spa en Le Morne.
What makes this distillery special is organic production. Rhumerie de Chamarel is located 300 meters above sea level in a fertile valley that has its own micro-climate. They are one of the few places that grow sugarcane and distill it in the same place. They do not burn the cane, instead they cut it by hand every day. If you visit from June to November you can see the harvest.
Thanks to recycling, there is no waste. They use bagasse, the fibrous residue that remains after the juice extraction process, as an energy source. The industrial fumes are controlled and all the ashes are used as fertilizer. The steam obtained from the process is used to water the gardens.
Taste the delicious rum from Mauritius in Rhumerie de Chamarel and learn about the uses of cane, the most important harvest on the island.