We have searched for several years for the right home for this project, seeking a reliable, welcoming, yet quiet corner of the Caribbean. After a long history of cane growing, Grenada is today a blank canvas: ideal for a fresh start with new, clean, disease-resistant varieties.
With its hilly terrain, altitude range, volcanic and alluvial soils there is a good variety of microclimates or ‘terroirs’, as the winemakers call them, for cane.
Here we have found new friends, old contacts, and positive well-educated islanders with an outward-looking attitude. And in that population of 100,000 people we are confident of finding good people with the right attitude for the job and a Grenadian team to manage this Grenadian business.
Provenance is our key to distil a terroir-driven ‘single malt’ rum.
We believe each terroir – the interaction between cane plant, microclimate and soil – provides juice with different characteristics which, kept separate from field to fermentation, will be discoverable in the new spirit, the rum.
We have therefore laboriously propagated the 7 most ideal cane varieties from tissue culture to embryos to seedlings at the Ministry’s Maran facility from the cleanest plant material possible.
Now we need farmers and landowners of 5 acres or more to work with us. Old and young, skilled or amateur, we can provide the seed cane, agronomy, advice and equipment. And above all, we will make it worth their while.
Started out as a fine wine shipper in London in 1980 then to retailing before moving into whisky in 1996 and distilling in 2000 with the acquisition of Bruichladdich Distillery on the Island of Islay. In 2015 he acquired the Guinness brewery in Waterford, Ireland and converted it to a single malt whisky distillery. In these enterprises, Mark has been supported by Chairman Sir John Mactaggart and Finance Director John Adams
Director of Agriculture
Bertrand John – or BJ – is an enigmatic and engaging character that has worked in agriculture for most of his life. A highly successful market gardener, he has also grown cane in the past and even run a rum distillery. He contributes to Real FM’s agriculture radio show on Thursday mornings. From the very start he understood the importance of this project to Grenada’s farming fraternity and the boost to agriculture on this island
Graham has been in the rum industry for thirty years. At the Williams family’s Westerhall Estate he learnt the art of milling, distilling & blending rum. He has been involved in several successful island projects including deep sea fishing, property development and the hospitality industry. Graham serves on the board of a leading local insurance company, a regional commercial bank & Westerhall Estate Ltd, with its subsidiaries Island Ice and Umbrella Beach Bar
For two decades Isaac has worked in Grenada’s agricultural sector, having trained at McGill University, Canada and University of the West Indies. His experience includes working at the Agency for Rural Transformation & Food Security Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture. Pre-Ivan he was active in the Cane Farmers’ Association, then in 2012 he became a full time private farmer, and has developed our nursery with Ross Emsley’s team
Philli is from Kwazulu Natal, Zulu her native tongue. She studied a Masters in agriculture at Stellenbosh University specializing in terroir. She has four peer-reviewed papers and two technical articles published on terroir. After South China Agricultural University and Cape Town University she presented at IXth International Terroir Congress in Burgundy. Married to a Grenadian she lives in Victoria, St Mark
Ollie grew up on the family Farm in Norfolk – agricultural engineering, one could say, is in his blood. Having specialised in Design & Technology at Uppingham followed by a stint studying agriculture at Newcastle University, Ollie farmed in Australia, New Zealand & UK with practical experience as contract harvester and farm machinery engineer. With mechanics on his mind, his hobby is restoring antique vehicles
Scouting Trip to Grenada, met Graham Williams
Oct – Dec
Feasibility Study commissioned from Booker Tate
Feb – Sept
Development Plan commissioned from Booker Tate
Presented to Agriculture, farmers & met BJ
April – Aug
Tissue culture plants arrive at Maran
Phase 1 Nursery at Westerhall
Development Plan implemented
Environmental site Assessments
Distillery site Acquisition
Phase 2 Nursery, 55 Acres, at Hope & Westerhall
July – Nov
Distillery planning & environment Impact study
July – May
Mill & distillery construction
Jan – June
Commercial harvest 150 acres+ planted
Jan – June
Renegade Rum goes to Market
300 acres identified
150 acres cleared and planted
50 acres in preparation
B80689 / B89447 / B82238 / B77602 / B69566 / B63118 / B5992
Baillie’s Bacolet, Conference, Antoine
About Cane Varieties
Varieties have been selected for the project based on knowledge of their suitability to similar conditions on Barbados, including likely pest and disease threats, climate and environment. Varieties with a high content of fermentable sugars and a history of use for rum production are also desirable. A separate study was carried out in February 2016 and identified the following varieties along these lines:
B80689 Grown in Barbados, Trinidad and Guadeloupe.
B89447 Major variety in Barbados.
B82238 Major variety in Barbados.
B98235 High cane yield, high sucrose variety.
B99907 High cane yield, high sucrose variety.
B77602 High cane yield.
B69566 Used for rum production in Guadeloupe and Martinique.
B63118 Previously widely grown in Grenada. Also grown in Cuba, Trinidad and Guyana.
B5992 Was grown extensively in Central America.