Savanna Rum Distrillery / Sucrerie de Bois-Rouge
2 Chemin du Bois Rouge, Saint-Andre, Reunion
www.distilleriesavanna.com - 0262 58 59 74
Savanna Rum Distrillery / Sucrerie de Bois-Rouge Saint-Andre Reviews
A toast to Rum Oct 17, 2011
A highly recommended visit if you are touring Reunion. I was somewhat surprised to learn that sugar cane remains a leading industry for the island, and this destination offers a combo tour of the sugar refinery and rum distillery (the sugar refinery operates during cane harvest, July – December, so the rum distillery will be the only thing you get to tour from January – June). Tours are offered in English and all three associates connected to the gift shop / tour operation were quite fluent.
Everything begins within the gift shop, which is where the parking is so you should have no problem identifying the starting point. Things kick off with a short, informative video (the tour was equally educational and I learned quite a lot!), followed by donning a hair net and hard hat before trooping off to the sugar refinery. They take safety seriously here, and before they would accept our tour fee the associates made sure we had footwear to swap out with our open toe sandals, verboten inside the factory.
The sugar refinery was very interesting. We learned most off the output is devoted to sugar, but sufficient quantities are siphoned off to manufacture cane juice and molasses for the rum facility. After every drop has been extracted from the cane stalks, all the remaining detritus gets used: some is bludgeoned further to transform it into fertilizer, or; it gets burned to generate steam in one of the electric plants on the island. The people here are very mindful of resources, and our tour would reinforce the steps put into place to achieve maximum utilization.
Probably the only downer of the tour was that once you reached the rum distillery there was a ban on cell phones and cameras, apparently from fear of an electric spark igniting a fire – I will tell you that the alcohol infused odor hanging over much of the distillery almost knocked you out at times! Regrettably, this is where the visual gets interesting and I was disappointed to be boxed out of taking pictures. The rum is aged in beautiful oak casks and it was a shame not to get a memory.
Still an excellent tour, and once you return to the gift shop it’s time to sample the rum! This was also well presented and educational. The associates had also dissuaded Jeff from purchasing any rum before the tour and tasting, pointing out that his decision might be impacted by what he was about to learn (and taste). Overall, the entire tour took about an hour and a half, time well spent.
Cost was 7.5 euro each.
Part of the Running to Reunion travel blog
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