Martinique has long had the reputation of having the best terroir for sugarcane cultivation, long before Homère Clément had the imaginative idea to press sugarcane to produce Rhum Agricole. However, the introduction of sugar beets and the increasing availability of cheap South American sugar lead to the collapse of the Martiniquean sugar commerce.
What once was a rich and lively island was quickly mired in economic despair. At this time, Homère Clément was a very popular member of the Martiniquean community and the mayor of Le Francois. He purchased the prestigious sugar plantation known as Domaine de l’Acajou just 3 kilometers from the center of Le Francois. This 43 acre estate was considered one of the best sugar plantations on the island of Martinique.
Homère Clément made the necessary investments and transformed one of the island’s most prestigious sugar plantations into a producer of world-class Rhum Agricole. He had the planters return to the fields to harvest sugarcane once again, but not to refine sugar. His idea was to press his quality estate grown sugarcane to extract first-pressed aromatic and flavorful sugarcane juice to distill pure rhum. Inspired by the enjoyment of great brandies while studying in his early years in Paris, Homère mimicked the distillers of the great Armagnac’s of southwestern France to perfect his method of rhum production known today as Rhum Agricole.