[10 years of Rumporter] Luca Gargano, head of Velier (and first Homo Saccharum!)

20 personalities decipher the last 10 years, and provide food for thought for the next 10.

Luca Gargano

How has the rum market changed over the last 10 years?

One of the most striking phenomena of the last 10 years has been speculation. Today, there are rum auctions and websites specialising in the sale of rare bottles… and these rums are sold at incredible prices! Rum has taken on a whole new dimension. But what really annoys me is speculation, when you sell a bottle for 50 euros and in the same day it fetches 100 euros on the second market.

Over the last ten years, I’ve also helped to bring to the fore concerns such as the presence of sugar in rums, or tropical aging. For me, this is very important. There’s room for everyone, from McDonald’s to Michelin-starred restaurants, but what’s important is to inform the public and explain how the rum was produced and aged! Today, there’s a lot of information on labels. That gives me a lot of satisfaction.

How will it evolve over the next 10 years?

There are still many things to discover in the world of rum. For example, I recently went to Ecuador and discovered that there were at least 200 stills in the country! They’re everywhere. But we could also talk about Madeira rum, grogue… In the world of whisky, we’ve discovered all the distilleries that exist, but that’s not the case for rum, especially when it comes to artisanal distilleries. Many farmers are also distillers.

Do you have any news you’d like to share with us?

Yes, from Nomad, which will be the first transcontinental nomad still. It’s an 800-litre pot still, which will be placed in a container with everything it needs to function. And this container will travel around the world to distill wherever the raw materials and casks are.

This is nothing new – in Australia in the 19th century, there were already distillery boats on the rivers! For example, if I go to Neisson, I set up my container and distill the equivalent of one cask a day. And maybe Grégory or others would be interested in having a pot still on hand to try things out.

What does Rumporter mean to you?

I’d like to remind you that I was the first guest in the Homo Saccharhum section! It’s an honour for me, because I really enjoy your magazine.

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