Ste Civile Agricole de Bologne
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As the oldest distillery in Guadeloupe, Bologne reveals the colorful history of the lives of its people, including the conflicts they endured after sugar was introduced in the early seventeenth century.
In the sixteenth century, the Protestant de Bologne family, originally from France, emigrated from Holland to the Spanish-controlled colony of Brazil. While Spain was preoccupied with the quest for gold in the new world, the Dutch refugees prospered by cultivating sugar cane and selling the sugar in Europe.
In 1640, Portugal won her independence from Spain. Together, Portugal and Brazil then declared war on the Dutch planters in Brazil. The immigrants were forced to leave once again. After being refused permission to land in Catholic dominated Martinique, a convoy of several boats and twelve hundred refugees arrived in Guadeloupe early in 1654. The prosperous de Bologne family brought gold, silver, slaves, and equipment from their sugar factory with them.
By 1664, Louis de Bologne and his two sons, Guillaume and Pierre, had begun to rebuild their sugar trade in the southwest region of Guadeloupe. For one hundred years, the de Bologne family business was successful. But in 1764, Joseph Samuel de Bologne was unable to pay his debts and the property was sold.
Thirteen years later, the estate, which consisted of the cane mill, sugar factory, distillery, a beautiful brick master's house, a separate kitchen, cages for fowl, and a jail had changed hands three more times.
Two years later, the French Revolution (1789-1802) was declared in Paris-an event that changed the lives of everyone from the slaves in the colonies to the king himself. When the decree of the abolition of slavery was signed on the 4th of February 1794, large numbers of newly freed slaves joined the troops and went to war or simply disappeared. Eight years later, slavery was reinstated, but the fighting had destroyed the estates and their ability to produce sugar.
The Bologne house and sugar factory changed hands again before Jean-Antoine Ame-Noel bought the sugar factory on the May 26, 1830. A black man, "free by birth," originally from Bouillante, Jean-Antoine was a freemason, fisherman, corsair, speculator, and coffee grower in Bouillante. Until that time, no black man had owned a sugar factory of such significance as the Bologne factory.
The estate now consisted of more than one principal house, a better cane mill, four boilers, filters for making sugar, and a four-stone mill to grind manioc. The cane mill and the stone aqueduct, which brought water from the river, can still be seen at the distillery.
The definitive abolition of slavery, in 1848, accentuated the economic problems of the planters prompting Jean-Antoine to organize a societe agriculturale with sixty cultivateurs. The profits from this arrangement were shared equally between the owners of the land, the equipment, and the labor.
In 1850, Jean-Antoine was buried in a small garden next to the distillery in the midst of his 140-hectare estate. Francois Joseph Ame-Noel inherited his uncle's fortune but, despite his best efforts, the sugar industry continued to decline. In 1874, he was unable to pay his debts and the property was auctioned to settle the account.
In 1873, the Le Dentu and Cie Corporation built the Usine de la Basse-Terre, a central sugar factory. This marked a turning point in the evolution of the sugar industry. Modern machinery, which tripled the efficiency of the sugar crystallization process, was imported. Even a railroad was built to transport the cane to the factory. A million francs were raised by selling bonds to finance the operation and, in 1875, the Bologne house was allotted to M. Emile Le Dentu for his own use.
When the Usine de la Basse-Terre was unable to repay the huge debts it had incurred, the properties were again fragmented by auction in 1887. On November 3, 1930, the house and grounds were purchased by M. Louis Sargenton-Callard. Since that time, the property has not changed hands. Today, Suzanne Sargenton-Callard is responsible for the distillery operation at Bologne.
Bologne rum comes from a distillery located at Basse-Terre, bought by Louis Callard in 1927 and increased in 1945.
Distillery was operating in 1997.
Here are full texts from the labels
gp68: Rhum Bologne; 1 Litre; 50% vol; Mise en bouteille a la distillerie Ste Civile Agricole de Bologne, 97100 Basse-Terre, Guadeloupe
gp589: Rhum Bologne; Mise en bouteille a la distillerie; 1 l; 55% vol; Rhum agricole de la Guadeloupe; Appellation d'Origine; Societe Agricole de Bologne S.A., 97100 Basse-Terre
gp390: Eclipse du 26. Fevrier 1998 Rhum Bologne; 1 L; Appellation d'Origine; 50% vol; Mise en bouteille a la distillerie; SCA de Bologne, 97100 Basse-Terre
gp431: Bologne Grand Rhum des Antilles; 50% vol; 70 cl; Mise en bouteilles a la distillerie;Ste civile agricole de Bologne, Basse-Terre - Guadeloupe
gp~3: Rhum Bologne; 35 cl; 50% vol; Mise en bouteille a la distillerie; Rhum agricole de la Guadeloupe; Appellation d'origine; SCA de Bologne, 97100 Basse-Terre