The Hardy distillery is located in Tartane in front of the Anse de la Brêche and near the Presqu'île de la Caravelle. It is certainly one of the most unknown in Martinique. However, it is a historical rum of our island, which was born in 1830 when the Habitation which was then called "La Grâce" took the name of "Habitation sucrerie Tartane". At that time, it included a dwelling house, industrial buildings, sugar cane plantations and a windmill. The latter can still be admired from the road.
A few years later, Émilien Bonneville, a wealthy landowner from the Tartane region, decided to buy it.
In 1880, in a Habitation that only produced sugar, Émilien Bonneville decided to equip it with a steam engine in order to distill rum. Martinique was then in the midst of a sugar crisis and many distilleries had turned to distilling rum.
He then gave it to his daughter Clémence, then the wife of Gaston Hardy des Sources.
In 1905, the Habitation was sold to Gaston Hardy who gave it its name "Rhum G Hardy Tartane". His rum was distinguished and received several medals in mainland France. The distillery was devastated by two fires but was completely restored by his son, also named Gaston, who was an engineer.
In 1955, Gaston Hardy son became the owner of the place. To strengthen the reputation of Hardy rums, he created the famous Rhum Paille, aged for 12 to 18 months in oak barrels. This will strengthen the reputation of Hardy rums.
In the 70's, he got personally involved to renovate and modernize the production tool (mill mechanism, concrete chimney, distillation column and an automatic feeding belt that he made himself).
He died in 1990, leaving a distillery that smoked until 1994.
His heirs took over and transferred the production to the Saint-James distillery in Sainte-Marie. It is manufactured according to the quality rules of the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (A.O.C.). A store at the entrance of the site offers the range of Hardy rums for tasting and sale. The rum is produced in small quantities (120,000) compared to other rums on the island and is only distributed locally.
The buildings have been gradually damaged by humidity but a fundraising campaign has been carried out by the public authorities to restore the premises. Thus, some buildings of the site are currently being renovated but it is still possible to visit this historical place.