Friday, September 16, 2016

Rhum Martinique Decree

Martinique and Guadeloupe Rhum Agricole
     "Martinique rhum agricole is more expensive to produce, due to the high cost of labor in Martinique, compared to neighboring countries such as Jamaica, Cuba or Brazil. Molasses being by products and requiring less care in handling are also cheaper raw materials compared to fresh sugar cane juice.  To protect Martinique rhum agricole, producers tried to create an image of a luxury product.  The luxury notion would explain the higher price of Martinique rhum agricole.  The decision to seek an A.O.C (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée) was made as early as 1975. The A.O.C's purpose was to extend the legal protection entitled to rums produced in French overseas regions.   The A.O.C request did not succeed for technical reasons and in 1989 the FENARUM (National Federation of Rhum Producers) filled another request.             '

            "In 1993 an expert committee wrote the AOC specifications.  This committee sets up geographical limits for cane cultivation and defines acceptable production techniques (distillation columns, ageing, fermentation, etc.). As it is the case in most AOC specifications, these limitations did not exclude any current production but rather set new rules from current practices to make sure that rhum would always be produced the same way.   In France, all laws and decrees as well as official texts are published in the Journal Officiel. The Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée Martinique decree enacting the AOC has been signed on November, 5 1996. It has been published in the Journal Officiel dated November, 8 1996 starting at page n° 16360. You can access the three pages of the decree."

     This decree is what separates Martinique rhum agricole from the rhum agricole produced in other  Armagnac Column Still, but deeply entrenched traditions of the other islands as to how it is fermented, distilled and aged means that the final product of the other French islands is slightly different.
(Guadeloupe - Réunion - Guyana).  Granted they are called agricole, but there are differences in the way that they are produced and where the sugarcane comes from.  Many of the smaller French islands don't have room to produce the sugar cane necessary for their needs and have to be procured from one of the sister French islands.  All agricoles are distilled in an
French overseas regions

     This is a very confusing issue for me, they are all agricoles, but they are not AOC Martinique agricoles.  The different location of the origin of the sugar cane and the methods make they the same, but different.  The Martinique Decree is what governs these differences.  I'm hoping that this helps you better understand the differences between the agricole from Martinique vs the agricole from the rest of the French Overseas Region.  Even though Damoiseau has an Appellation d'Origine Guadeloupe on its label it isn't the same set of rules as the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée Martinique.  It is kind of like Australian Rules Football and Soccer, they are similar, but not the same.