An interesting place to visit in the east of Reunion is the Distillerie de Savanna at Bois Rouge. Founded by Emile Hugot in the late 1940s in the Savannah region of Saint Paul on the west coast, the rum distillery was later completely reinstalled at the Bois Rouge sugar refinery at Saint André in 1992.
|Bois-Rouge sugar refinery and power station (source)|
Guided tours of the distillery are available which you need to book in advance. The dress code is very strict - no jewellery and only closed shoes, and the groups contain 15 people maximum.
|Distillery visit reception centre and shop|
Sugar cane season in Reunion runs from ≈June to ≈December, so as we were there in April the whole sugar refining part of the factory was at a standstill.
At this time of year visits are available Monday to Saturday from 10am until 6pm and last 45 minutes.
Between June and December visits are from 9am until 8pm Monday to Friday, and 9am to 6pm on Saturdays and last two hours as you get to see sugar cane processing.
Cameras were forbidden in the most interesting part of the distillery, which was rather frustrating!
|Looking out to sea|
80% of production is exported to mainland France and the European Union.
The rums won 30 medals in a three-year period, including 17 during 2007.
Savanna was the first European distillery to be awarded the standard ISO 9002, and in July 2003 it was awarded ISO 9001 by the French Association of Quality Assurance.
Official website of the distillery (in French): http://www.distilleriesavanna.com
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