Alejandro Robaina: The Godfather of Cuban Tobacco
“TOBACCO PRODUCTION AS FAMILY HERITAGE. AN INSPIRING PLANTATIONS GROWER”
Cuban Cigars have a long history of successful Habano pioneers as we have showcased on our post "Cuban Cigars Industry Pioneers " where we discuss the most significant figures in the cigars industry. Inspiring Cuban Tobacco grower and an accomplished plantation owner, Alejandro Robaina is widely recognised as the Godfather of Cuban Tobacco. Today we take a look into his life and fascinating Tobacco career.
EARLY LIFE – Son of the acclaimed tobacco grower Maruto Robaina, young Alejandro was born in Alquizar in La Habana Province of Cuba in March 1919. Deriving from a line of great tobacco growers, for Robaina the art of Cuban tobacco was a matter of family heritage. He grew up and lived most of his life in the renowned tobacco-growing Vuelta Abajo region in the Pinar del Rio Province, where his family had been growing tobacco since 1895. Having smoked his first Cuban cigar at the age of nine, Robaina became actively involved with his family’s tobacco business a year late, only to lead the family plantations to their most glorious days.
‘INSPIRING VISIONAIRE. TRADITIONAL TOBACCO VIEWS. A PLANTATIONS LEGEND”
TOBACCO CAREER – After his father’s death, Alejandro took over the family business and managed to remain an independent tobacco grower even after the Cuban Revolution of 1959, when the majority of tobacco plantations ware absorbed into large cooperative organisations. In an interview at Cigar Aficionado Magazine, Robaina challenged the performance of cooperative organisations, stating that family production is the best way to grow fine tobacco.
HONOURARY TOBACCO GROWER – With Alejandro in charge, the Robaina tobacco plantations became synonymous with high-quality leaves, gradually establishing their place amongst the finest tobacco plantations in the world. Leaves from the Robaina plantations are been used by high-end Cuban Cigars brands, like Cohiba which is considered to be one of the most successful names in Cuban Cigars. Similarly, Hoyo de Monterrey, a brand that has mastered the art of crafting impeccable Cuban Cigars since 1865, use tobacco leaves from the Robaina plantations to create cigars like the full-flavoured Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure Especial Cigar, a puro that every Cuban cigars aficionado adores. Another testimony to the high-quality leaves that the Robaina plantations provide, the Hoyo de Monterrey Le Hoyo du Maire Cigar which combines light flavours with a 100mm by 30 ring gauge, making it excellent for a quick smoke. In the 1990s, having already acquired the nickname “the Godfather of Cuban tobacco”, Alejandro Robaina was honoured by the government of Cuba as the country’s best tobacco grower.
“THE LEGACY CONTINUES”
LAST DAYS – In 2009, Robaina was diagnosed with cancer and, a year later, passed away on his tobacco plantation near San Luis, Pinar del Rio. Until his very last days, Robaina stayed true to his daily smoking routine, smoking five cigars each day, all of which were personally hand-rolled by him. Today, the heritage of the Robaina tobacco plantations is been continued by Alejandro’s grandson, Hirochi Robaina.
Alejandro Robaina devoted his entire life to his true passion - growing authentic Cuban tobacco and expanding his family’s tobacco business. Purchase any of our Regional Editions Cigars and explore the refined and sophisticated taste of our selection of Cuban Cigars Online. Read more of our recent stories and become a true Cuban Cigars aficionado.