The Chartreuse Distilleries

Chartreuse Vauvert Paris
Chartreux Monastery of Vauvert in Paris

1605-1737: Chartreux Monastery of Vauvert in Paris

A first version of the Elixir Végétal is developed, a red Elixir that draws 82 °.
Shortly after the Prior of the Monastery of the Grande Chartreuse at St Pierre de Chartreuse repatriated the manuscript to the Mother House of the Order, where the recipe will be reworked.
The monastery of Vauvert was destroyed during the Revolution, it was located at the current location of the Luxembourg Gardens.

Pharmacy of the Monastery

1737-1860 : Monastery of “la Grande-Chartreuse”

Located in the Chartreuse mountain, the Monastery of
“La Grande Chartreuse” is the Mother House — the Headquarters — of the Chartreuse Order.
This is where, after years of study, the Elixir Végétal – from the manuscript given by Marshall d’Estrées – is finally produced in 1764.
The Elixir is followed by the production of Green Chartreuse in 1840.

Fourvoirie (France)

1860-1903 : Fourvoirie

The success of Elixir and Green Chartreuse made it necessary to build a new and larger distillery near to the small village of “Saint Laurent du Pont”, at a place called “Fourvoirie”.
Soon, the production at Fourvoirie was enlarged with the addition of new liqueurs: Yellow Chartreuse in 1840 and White Chartreuse (From 1860 to 1880 and from 1886 to 1900).

1903-1989 : Tarragona (read below)

1932-1935 : Fourvoirie

In 1929, the monks were finally able to regain the brand name “Chartreuse” and the distillery in Fourvoirie where they resumed distillation in 1932.
Their good fortune did not last long ! During the night of November 14, 1935, a landslide destroyed the whole building and part
of the stock was lost in the river. The French army was called for help. The oak barrels and large copper stills, which remained in good condition,
were taken to a nearby town, Voiron, where the Chartreuse monks owned a small warehouse and an ageing cellar.

Tarragona (Spain)

1903-1989 : Tarragona (Spain)

In 1903, the Chartreuse monks were expelled from France.
The father distillers in charge of the liqueurs went to Spain and opened a new distillery in Tarragona.
It took less than one year for Chartreuse to be back on the world market. But not in all countries, as the French government had “nationalised” the brand name and the distillery and sold them to a group of private investors. In France.
If one wanted the “real” Chartreuse and not the imitation, one asked for a “Tarragone”. Everyone knew what it was even though “Tarragone” was no more than a nickname.
This distillery operated until 1989.
During the 86 years of its existence, the monk distillers worked alternatively there, in Marseille (France), in Fourvoirie (until its destruction) and finally in Voiron.

Marseille (France)

1921-1930 : Marseille

In 1921, the distillers came back to Marseille, in the south of France, where they mixed together alcoholates from Tarragona.
They were still not allowed to call their liqueur “Chartreuse” so they decided to call it “Tarragone”.
Interestingly, the only liqueur bearing a Spanish name at that time was made in France !

Voiron (France)

1936 – 2017 : Voiron

The Voiron distillery was in operation between 1936 and November 2017.
The Chartreuse cellar is still located in Voiron and is now the Chartreuse liqueurs tourist center.

Aiguenoire Distillery (Entre-Deux-Guiers)

Since November 2017 – Aiguenoire (Entre-Deux-Guiers)

This distillery has been in operation since November 2017, and has been officially inaugurated on August 30th 2018.
Each series of herbs and plants macerates in alcohol.
After an undisclosed period of time, this mix, called maceration, is poured in stills.
Then begins the distillation process.

Before being put to age, the liquor is controlled by the Chartreuse monks in their laboratory.

The distillery in Aiguenoire cannot be visited. Only the Chartreuse cellar in Voiron can be visited.

The 7th distillery of the Chartreuse Fathers was officially inaugurated on August 30th 2018

You may download here the inauguration speech of the Father Procurator of the Chartreuse Order
Discover here more information about the new Chartreuse distillery in Aiguenoire