The general director of Haiti’s Rhum Barbancourt passed away earlier today Wednesday March 1, 2017 in Port-au-Prince after complaining that he didn’t feel well and had trouble breathing. His assistant, William Eliacin, told the Miami Herald that the cause of death was a pulmonary embolism. Gardère was 65.
About Rhum Barbancourt
Barbancourt is a rum produced and bottled in Haiti by Société du Rhum Barbancourt, T. Gardère & Cie.. The company is one of Haiti’s oldest, and its rum is one of the country’s most famous exports, widely regarded as among the finest rums in the world.
The family business began on March 18, 1862, producing rum directly from sugar cane juice. Dupré Barbancourt, a Frenchman from the cognac-producing region of Charente emigrated to Haiti, and founded his company at the end of 1862. After learning how to make rum in December of that year, he soon began selling it for HTG 1.50 (USD $0.30) per gallon.
Dupré Barbancourt left no heir and when he died the company passed to his wife Nathalie Gardère, who managed it with the help of her nephew, Paul Gardère. When she died, Paul then directed the company’s destiny until his death in 1946, when his son Jean Gardère took up the baton, furthering the family tradition until 1990. When Jean passed, Thierry Gardère took over, becoming the fourth generation of the Gardère family to lead the company.
RIP Mr. Gardère!