Distillerie Depaz


Plantation de la Montagne Pelée
Saint Pierre

Status: Operational

Established: 1651

Visitor Policy: Visitors welcome throughout the year

Tel: +596 78 13 14

Website: http://depaz.fr

The Depaz Distillery, one of the smallest on Martinique, sits at the foot of Mount Pelée, on the north-western side of the island. Depaz produces AOC agricole rum, from crushing fresh cane, to the continuous column still distillation and a minimum of three months cask aging.

La Montagne homestead on which the distillery lies, was originally a farm founded in 1651 by Jacques Duparquet, the first governor of the island to produce tobacco, indigo and for livestock. However, the main crop quickly became sugar cane as both the market for sugar grew and distillation techniques improved. The local town, Saint Pierre, became the largest rum port in the world and was nicknamed “Little Paris of the Antilles”.

Dramatically, on 8th May 1902, the Mount Pelée volcano eruption destroyed Saint Pierre and La Montagne farm, killing 30,000 people, including the family of Victor Depaz, who was studying in Bordeaux at the time. Orphaned and bankrupt, he returned to Saint Pierre seven years after the eruption to replant and started up his new distillery fed by the 521 hectares of sugar cane he had inherited.

In 1917 he completed a replica of the Périnelle plantation mansion where he grew up. This became known as Depaz castle and is where he lived with his wife and eleven children. During the 1950s, Victor’s sons took over operations and modernized the distillery, which in turn became known as the Depaz distillery.