Distillerie Societe J. Chatel & Cie, Saint-Denis
Year established: 1907
Owner: Family owned
Web page: http://www.groupechatel.com/
Type of still:
Location: Sainte Marie, Ile de La Réunion
1907 Chatel, over a century of family tradition.
Rue Juliette Dodu in Saint Denis, Reunion Island. A pharmacist by profession, Jean CHATEL decided not to take over his father’s pharmacy in order to use the family premises as a distillery. In huge 250 litre wooden barrels, the preparations were stirred by hand and then sold in demijohns before being delivered by donkey carts. However, the distillery was only one of the different occupations that J. Chatel carried out. At the same time or successively an entrepreneur and a politician, he directed the Rivière du Mât factory and was an administrator for the Rhumerie du Bourbier. He was also president of the general Council of Reunion, president of the Chamber of commerce and finally mayor of Saint Denis during 20 years. Jean Chatel gained the nickname “Papa Chatel” thanks to his social accomplishments achieved as the mayor of Saint Denis. In 1930, he became president of the Reunion sports federation until 1937. With the support of his children Rémy, Jeanne and Gaston, he invested the local insurance market and created “La Préservatrice”. Jean Chatel died in his office at Saint Denis city hall on the 27th of April 1948. After his death, Chatel maintained its two activities of the family-run business: the distillery and the insurance company which both have kept on expanding until nowadays. As a tribute, one of St Denis’ main streets was named after him.
1957 Jeanne Chatel at the head of the Distillery
Jeanne Chatel, the founder’s daughter, takes over the management of the distillery and decides to develop a new range of products. This is how the company’s range of punchs in bottles was created. Moreover, the handmade production being outdated it is replaced by an automated production line. In 1960, the company acquires its first bottling machine: “La Girondine”.
1975 Chatel moves to “Le Chaudron”
Thanks to its constant success the company rapidly outgrows its distillery in “Rue Juliette Dodu”, downtown St Denis and needs to seek a more appropriate location.
Chatel relocates to “Le Chaudron” in the outskirts of St Denis where it will have enough room to build a new production line in scale with its booming activity.
1981 Alain Chatel takes over the family-run company.
Alain Chatel, Jean Chatel’s grandson, has been managing the company since 1981. As the distillery’s Master blender, he creates all the new recipes. Nowadays, after a century of activity, the company continues passing on its landmark know-how and, in the same time expanding it’s locally made as well as imported product portfolio. Born in 1949, Alain Chatel witnessed most of his grandfather’s accomplishments. After his baccalaureate, he decides to study business management in order to follow Jean Chatel’s footsteps. He joins the distillery in 1973 and learns all the aspects of the company’s activity. In 1981, he takes over the management of the distillery. Trained by master blenders, he always keeps with him his grandfather’s recipe book while constantly creating new mixes and sharing his passion and know how. Very Linked to Reunion and its heritage, Alain Chatel gets his inspiration from local fruits to imagine new products and new flavors. Aware that a company must always be reactive in a perpetually evolving market, he is particularly attentive to new ways of consumption. With his impulse the company diversifies its product portfolio and opens up to export market opportunities.
1998 Acquisition of the Vue belle distillery.
Chatel acquires the Vue Belle distillery which manufactures liqueurs, rum-based creams all packed in original, innovative and luxurious presentations which have won many rewards. In 1990 “Pause Café”, with its fine gold printing, won the “Oscar of packaging”.
2006 Launch of Cubi Punch
A real innovation in punch history … A ready-to-drink blended punch, packed in 3 liters Bag in Box for practical use. The idea was simple but no other producer had thought of it! Chatel as a pioneering market leader for the last century was the first to make it. CUBIPUNCH was born and it was created in Reunion Island!
2007 100 years of history
Take a century of punch, add a hundred years of passion for Reunion Island, it’s sugar cane and fruit, blend in 30 devoted people, a multitude of recipes and one intense belief: “Create the punch in tune with our times” and you have the Chatel Distillery. Two golden rules guide the distillery day in, day out: quality & innovation. A success story that has only just begun…
2008 A new production unit in Sainte Marie.
A century of innovation later, the company produces up to 1.5 million of bottles per year and has just celebrated its century of existence. To prepare for the future Chatel decides to move for the second time in 25 years in order to optimize the production.
2010 And Chatel revisited the punch!
Alain Chatel reinvented the standards of traditional punch in order to better give justice to the expression of the tropical fruits from Reunion Island. At the same time, the distillery creates new trends of cocktails through its new range of surprising punches branded «les inédits»: the results of audacious mixes of fruits, flowers and vegetables.
2012 International Recognition
«Les Inédits», the last born cocktail range of J. Chatel Distillery, now enriched with two new flavors (coconut & hibiscus and geranium & cinnamon) have been seen at SIAL (International Exhibition for Food) in Paris and received the SIAL Innovation 2012 label.
2013 is part of a consortium that buys Quartier Francais Spiritueux Outre Mer, Distillerie de Savanna and Reunion Boissons.
Arrangé Letchi 40%
Arrangé Pineapple/Vanilla 40%
Arrangé Spice Secret 40%
Arrangé Vanille/Agrume 40%
Chatel Coconut rum 40%
Chatel Ginger-Mango flavoured Rum 40%
Chatel lemon flavoured Rum 40%
Esprit de Bourbon 36%
Esprit de Bourbon blanc 40%
Esprit de canne a sucre 36% vol
Langevin Rum 50%
Punch des Iles
Rhum Blanc Chatel 50% vol