The pleasure of enjoying a good cigar harks back to
the very cultivation of its plant, in Vinales. The
process entails caressing it, carefully selecting
it, learning the secret of rolling the cigar and its
There are 4 main tobacco-growing regions in Cuba:
Oriente and Las Villas in Havana province, and two
more, Semivuelta and Vuelta Abajo in Pinar del Rio
province. The most famous, whose saline soil and
ideal climate produces the very finest tobacco in
the world is Vuelta Abajo.
During the months of October and November, the seeds
are sown in special beds, and later on transferred
to the soil, where they are planted by hand, one by
one. Then, they are zealously supervised for 80 or
90 days, like a precious vineyard.
The most suitable climate for this crop is hot
during the day and cold at night, with one drop of
humidity. Sometimes the plants must be covered, in
order to protect them from too much sun.
By February or March, when the plant’s lower
leaves turn light green, they are then collected and
sorted out according to their quality and strength.
Then, they are transported to the Tobacco House,
where they are duly classified, and then dried out
over a period of 40 to 45 days.
From there, they are taken to the factories, where
they are once again classified into 50 different
graduations, according to their texture and color.
Then, they are packed for fermenting and storage
The fermentation process is crucial to the quality
of the cigar, since it affects the flavor of the
tobacco and reduces the amount of nicotine. Truly
fine cigars are fermented twice, whereas Cohiba is
fermented 3 times.
Then, they are preserved for 2 years. Finally, they
are taken out and softened, and reach the hands of
the expert “twister”, who accords the finishing
besides the Cohiba, the most outstanding brands are:
Montecristo, Patagras (the oldest factory), H.
Upmann, Hugo Monterrey, Bolivar and Romeo y Julieta.