At the foot of Mount Pelee, a luxuriant nature thrives bordered by two rivers: Roches and Macouba. At the end of the 18th century, Antoine Leroux-Préville acquired a 164-hectare estate in this enchanting place to create a sugar mill. He gave it the name ‘Fonds-Préville’.
A century later, in 1845, the estate was bought by Jean-Marie Martin who gave a new impulse to the sugar factory by transforming it into a distillery. Shipped to Saint-Pierre, the rums with the initials ‘J.M’ were increasingly successful.
A few years later, in 1912, the distillery was bought by the Crassous de Médeuil family. The two estates (Fonds-Préville and Bellevue) were then combined to form a single estate of 400 hectares. Major improvements are made, which contribute to give J.M. rum its reputation.
In 2002, the Martinique-based family business G.B.H bought the distillery. A few years later, the group undertook a complete modernization of the site to make it a model distillery, a jewel of intelligence and harmony with nature.
The wild richness of a preserved land
a generous nature
A luxuriant vegetation of great diversity covers the valley. It is a unique ecosystem, with endemic species for which the Fonds-Préville Distillery has a deep respect.
a volcanic soil
The distillery is located at the foot of Mount Pelee. The slopes of this active volcano are rich in volcanic rocks such as andesite, particularly fertile for sugar cane.
a tropical climate
The shadow of the big clouds and the bright light follow one another unceasingly. The trade winds and the rain bring to the J.M. rum a vegetal side and the sun gives it its sweetness and its floral palette.
The river Roches supplies the distillery with water, for the soaking of the cane. Filtered by the volcanic rocks, the water is extremely pure and rich in minerals.
the sugar cane
The soul of Rhum Agricole
The cultivation of sugar cane is one of the key activities at J.M. More than a criterion of excellence, it is a signature. The distillery has the distinctive feature of creating its own cane plans. Grafted from a node, each plant grows for eight weeks in the nursery before being planted for four to five years. A single harvest takes place each year from February to the end of June.
According to the specifications of the AOC, all the canes are grown on the Martinique soil. To preserve their ultra-freshness, more than 75% of the sugar cane comes from the immediate vicinity of the distillery. They are crushed as soon as they arrive at the distillery.
Three varieties of cane are mainly processed at the Fonds-Préville Distillery: Canne Roseau (B59.92), Canne Bleue (B 69.566) and Canne Rouge (B64.277).
The distillery carries out its own experiments, just like the nursery. It innovates in its choice of canes and in its choice of plantations to reach excellence.
The art of aging
Time takes its toll
At the Fonds-Préville distillery, the rum is aged in new or used American or French oak barrels ranging from 55 to 400 liters. These barrels come from the United States and have contained bourbon for several years.
During the aging process in the cellars, the color of the rums changes from gold to copper, amber or mahogany. The aromas evolve, the exchanges between the wood and the alcohol will develop over time new aromatic qualities and temper its fire. The oak perfectly matches the rum’s aromas and develops vanilla, caramelized, creamy and spicy notes.
The burning of the barrels is an ancestral know-how that J.M. still masters. The Fonds-Préville distillery burns a part of its barrels itself, mastering an essential step for the quality of the old rums.
From fermentation to distillation
The heart of the manufacturing process
Distillation is at the heart of the manufacturing process. Following fermentation, it transforms the wine into white alcohol and reveals the aromas.
J.M. distillation is carried out in the purest tradition of Martinique’s rhum agricole, with know-how passed down from generation to generation, using traditional equipment: two copper Creole columns.
The different copper plates that make up the columns ensure that the water vapor and the cane wine meet. From this exchange, an alcohol vapour comes out at the top of the column which, once cooled, gives birth to rum. Crystal clear, it contains at J.M. between 70% to 73% vol. During the harvest season, an average of 15,000 liters of rum are produced per day, which will be transferred the next day to a maturation tank.
Men and women
Keys to the excellence of J.M
Of an incredible richness and diversity, the terroir of the Fonds-Préville Distillery has been carefully shaped since 1845.
The men and women who work at the distillery play a fundamental role. Eager to transform and sublimate this natural environment, they combine their talents to create harmonious and delicate rums.
Transmission and sharing are one of the keys to excellence at J.M. Each creation requires a lot of patience, passion and above all humility.
our collection of rhums j.m
(White 50°, White 55°, Shrubb)
(Terroir Volcanique, VO, VSOP, XO)
(10 years, 15 years, Dame Jeanne)
(Atelier range and Bitters)