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Sustainable Production

In the 19th century, sturgeons were abundant in the Garonne and Dordogne rivers. The specie of European sturgeon was known as Sturio (Acipenser sturio) and it was heavily fished for its meat.

In the beginning of the 20th century, the first Russian emigrants arrived in the Gironde Department. They explained to the local fishermen that it was preferable to fish the sturgeon for its roe and shared with them the secrets of caviar production.

Several caviar sellers set up operations between Saint Seurin d'Uzet and Blaye, but up until 1939, production remained quite limited. It was only after the Second World War that production exploded and the caviar made its way to Paris.

However, starting in the 1960s production tailed off and, in 1982, fishing for Sturio had to be banned altogether

What was the solution?

To protect the species in France, CEMAGREF (a research institute operating under the French ministry of agriculture) was put in charge of identifying a partner fish farm within France to welcome the Baerii sturgeon, a freshwater species imported from Syberia in 1976, in order to study the reproduction and raising of sturgeon in captivity.

CEMAGREF chose to search for this partner in the Aquitaine region, home to a thriving population of Sturio up until the 1970s.

And that is when they choose the farm where our caviar comes from.

Initial reproductions were carried out in the mid 1980's and the first caviar was produced in 1993.

Everything at the farm contributes to a harmonious development of the sturgeon. The pools are fed by the Lacanau river and studies confirm the exceptional quality of this rivers water.

A low sturgeon density grants the fish freedom to swim and grow and the site's natural configuration allows the water, thanks to the plateau's natural loss in elevation, to flow by simple force of gravity, generating a favourable current for the fish.

Only fresh water is used and a quality special sturgeon diet is rich in protein and low in fat. No medicine is ever used on the fish during their life span which enhances the quality of the roe.

The sturgeon grow to an age of 10 years, all the time being monitored closely. At 10 years old the sturgeon swim in spring water from an onsite well for 3 to 4 weeks in order to remove any impurities.

The caviar is then extracted at a size of 2.7mm and matured in a cold room to let the roe mature to develop more full-bodied flavours. When the experienced team judges that the caviar has reached the perfect levels of maturity, it is then packaged to be sold as DIVA and EBÈNE