In the late 17th century, Pére Labat, the famous Jesuit priest credited with proliferating sugar cultivation in the French West Indies, was the parish priest of Macouba while operating a sugar refinery at his house on the Roche River, where Rhum J.M. is produced today. Antoine Leroux-Préville purchased the estate in 1790. In 1845, Antoine Leroux-Préville’s daughters sold the property to Jean-Marie Martin, a merchant from Saint-Pierre. Jean-Marie Martin recognized the superior quality of the sugarcane he found on the Fonds-Préville estate and decided to shift the cultivation practices away from producing huge quantities of sugar and to focus on growing sugarcane to create a yield of the finest quality on the island. The sugarcane is 100% cultivated on the precious volcanic slopes of Habitation Bellevue. The rich sugarcane flavors in Rhum J.M are a result from this unique volcanic soil, tropical humidity from the low cloud ceiling, tremendous ventilation from the steady sea breeze onto the mountain side and the excellent drainage on the sloping sugarcane fields.
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