A tropical island warmed by the sunshine and rocked by the trade winds. A rich and verdant land shaped between a volcano and the seas. A rich and complex people and its culture: this is the exceptional terroir of Guadeloupe.

The singular microclimates and soil characteristics of Guadeloupe differ noticeably from one region to another. Basse-Terre with its volcanic relief and a generally humid climate to one side, to the other Grande-Terre, with its sun-bathed and shallow calcareous soils.

It is our mission to uphold the value of this unique terroir by working with hundreds of planters throughout the whole of Guadeloupe, thus perpetuating the traditions and letting their knowledge subsist and be expressed.


Our canes are cultivated and selected in collaboration with our growers according to high standards that guarantee a flawless quality.

They are mainly harvested by hand to assure their freshness, allow a long storage and preserve the native bacterial flora that promotes natural fermentation thus offering a high taste value. Machine-cut cane, on the other hand, lets us work on more specific fermentations.

La Guadeloupe possède singulièrement des microclimats et des caractéristiques de sols pouvant différer d’un lieu à l’autre. La Basse-Terre avec un relief volcanique et un climat généralement humifère et la Grande-Terre gorgée de soleil et de sols peu profonds et calcaires.

Nous voulons mettre en avant la diversité de ce terroir unique en travaillant avec des centaines de planteurs sur l’ensemble du territoire guadeloupéen. Nous perpétuons ainsi les traditions et permettons au savoir-faire de subsister et de s’exprimer.

Our rhum reflects the identity of Guadeloupe. We work with cane varieties from all over the island: Green sugarcane (B76-56), Red sugarcane (B64-277) and Yellow sugarcane (R570) are the best known. But we also use rarer varieties such as Blue sugarcane (B69-566), Black sugarcane (B46-364) and endemic species. The different varieties are blended or isolated to create the identity of Montebello Rhums.


In order to release the juice from the sugarcanes, the stems are shredded into stalks. This step is repeated twice allowing a better extraction in the mill.

Grinding the stalks makes it possible to press out all the sweet juice from the sugarcane. This step is also carried out twice and is powered by our steam engine: An old HALMILTON-type locomotive engine that has been working tirelessly since its construction at the end of the 19th century, perpetuating the tradition and making Montebello the last steam-powered distillery in mainland Guadeloupe.

As the milling process takes place, the “vesou”, or fresh cane juice, flows into a tank under the mill, where the sugar cane fibrous waste called ”bagasse” floats. The combustion of these natural fibers makes it possible to heat water, and produce the steam that feeds the mills and our distillation column.


The fresh cane juice is then pushed to the fermentation tanks which will be filled and cleaned in every turn. Fermentation is the natural process by which yeast transforms cane sugar into rhum.

Fermentation is activated naturally using a technique called ”pied de cuve” that consists of leaving part of the fermented cane wine at the bottom of the tank. When the cane juice comes into contact with the cane wine, the yeasts intertwine better and promote the development of complex and pleasant aromas of fresh cane and seasonal fruits.

Fermentation lasts between 48 and 72 hours in a rich bacterial medium. None of the tanks is covered to assure an unparalleled development of aromas. At the end of fermentation, the cane wine contains between 5 and 6% alcohol.


Once the fermentation stage is finished, it is time to separate the alcohol from the rest of the fermentate. This step is called Distillation.

The identity of Rhum Agricole MONTEBELLO is given by a particular type of distillation: the so-called ”continuous column” distillation.

The cane wine is loaded from the top of the column and slowed down by pierced trays. On its way down it will encounter water vapor which is injected at the base of the column. Vapor will drag volatile aromatic compounds: this is the bubbling effect. The vapor, loaded with esters, will condense at the top of the column becoming liquid: the rum has just been born.

At the column outlet, the rum will titrate between 74 and 80% of alcohol. The alcohol content leaving the column is extremely important. A slow distillation makes it possible to obtain distillates that are more loaded with aromatic molecules.


After distillation, rhum undergoes an essential rest in vats for several months that will add richness and reveal all the aromas. It will then be slowly thinned with filtered water, and/or with water from a natural source close to the distillery, in order to reach the degree of alcohol desired by the Cellar Master.


After distillation, rhum is stored in stainless steel tanks for brewing and reduction. This step is crucial in the production process as it helps to define the purpose of the rhum. The head of production selects the rhum and determines whether or not it will be aged.

In a time when Rhum Agricole was mainly consumed white, in Ti-Punch or even dry, certain visionaries like Alain Marsolle had the idea of aging it. In 1974, he decided to buy old Bourbon barrels in the United States and fill them with rhum for its aging.

Several types of casks are used today to age Montebello rhums. The most common being American Bourbon barrels, which bring pastry and vanilla notes; while Cognac barrels add a nice bitterness and notes of baked fruits and Wine barrels play a part in the finishing. We are now experimenting with new types of barrels and working on innovation to attain bold finishes.