|Water wheel powered cane crusher|
The process begins with the hand harvesting of local sugar cane, hand loading it on to the conveyor belt and finally to the crusher. All of this powered by the very "green" water wheel and the free power of the river.
|Wood Fired Still|
There is a bit of a contradiction that occurs with the system. The concentration of sugar in cane is at its highest during the dry season (Jan. to May), the water which powers the cane press is more efficient during the rainy season (June through Dec.) when there is plenty of water in the river.
The plant did not operate making rum throughout the year, as the sugar cane harvest is not a year round process. They would also process chocolate, nutmeg and mace in the off seasons as did many of the estates in the area.
This is one of the few remaining "old school" distilleries left in the world. River Antoine Distillery is still making rum in the tradition of the 1785 era, when slaves were cutting the cane and carrying it to the distillery for processing and water and wood powered the plant. This is a truly interesting operation, one you should not miss should you get the chance to visit this lush island. ;o)