Beaujolais distillery

The afternoon saw a trip to the Beaujolais distillery. Their main business is the production of industrial alcohol from marc (post-pressed berries and stalks) for pharmaceutical use and for putting in petrol. They also manufacture French brandy from post-fermentation lees and from excess wine. Interesting, French wine producers are obliged to give the government pure alcohol as a tax, and many fulfil this obligation by instead donating marc to government owned distillers such as this one, which runs 24hours a day, 6 days a week, producing 450 litres of pure alcohol per hour. This distillery takes marc from the majority of wine producers across the whole Burgundy region.

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Another, much smaller, business line is for fruit growers who can bring fruit for distillation and production of fruit spirits, with tax breaks available for up to 20 litres (with that amount costing the fruit grower EUR135 (processing plus tax), i.e. less than EUR7 per litre).

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