The Tobacco Regions of Cuba
ABUNDANT. NUTRIENT-RICH. PERFECT CONDITIONS.
Cuba, the homeland of the prestigious Cuban cigar, is considered to be the best place to cultivate tobacco. We have to admit, Nicaraguan, Dominican and other cigars from non-Cuban origin make great smokes - however, many people continue to argue that Cuban cigars remain to be the number one location to grow the plant. One of the main reasons is Cuba’s soil. In the country, there are many different tobacco zones where the plant is cultivated by many different farmers and manufacturers, in the aim of creating premium Cuban cigar products. Each zone is different from each other, and it is worth knowing which is which, especially if you’re in search of the perfect Cuban. So, without further ado, here are all the well-known tobacco growing regions in Cuba:
Pinar del Rio, Cuba - Not only is it breathtakingly beautiful, but it is also a true mecca for tobacco.
“VUELTA ABAJO AND ITS NITRATE-RICH SOIL”
Possibly the most renowned growing region in the world is the Vuelta Abajo region of Cuba. Located in the far-western region of the island, the Vuelta Abajo region is known to have the most nutrient-rich soil in the country. Why is that? Many thousands of years ago, most of the soil from the Carribean was formed by active volcanic and tectonic activity, which created a soil that was sandy, granular and loamy - not great for most crops, but ideal for tobacco. In the soil, you can find traces of iron, quartz and clay deposits - giving Cuban cigars a distinctive taste. Within Vuelta Abajo, there are further divisions; this includes three main areas:
PINAR DEL RIO - The Pinar del Rio province is the prime location for the BEST tobacco in the world. Here, many well-known Cuban Cigar Brands collect high-quality wrapper leaves, including some quality products such as the Cohiba Robusto Reserva Cosecha 2014 Cigar. So, if you do decide to visit Pinar del Rio, we suggest you take a trip to Viñales, a UNESCO world heritage site where you will spot spectacular views of mountains as well as catch a glimpse of all the tobacco plantations in the area.
SAN LUIS - San Luis, just west of Pinar del Rio, is a small town which thrives on the agricultural industry - cultivating products such as rice, fruit and tobacco. The municipality is actually known to have created the esteemed ‘Corojo’ leaf, known as the ‘best cigar wrapper in the world’ until Castro ordered the family who cultivated the leaf, to leave the country forever. San Luis is where the well-loved Vegas Robaina Cigar farm is located.
SAN JUAN Y MARTINEZ - San Juan y Martinez is another small town located near Pinar del Rio. This area, in particular, is known to grow quality binders and fillers for Cuban cigars. So, if you’re currently smoking a stogie, there’s a chance that your binder or filler came from a San Juan y Martinez plantation. Furthermore, this is where the famed ‘Hoyo de Monterrey’ brand is based, where a Catalonian named Jose Gener, founded the brand. So, the next time you're smoking a Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure Especial Cigar, remember its origins in the small town called San Juan y Martinez.
Hoyo de Mena farm located in Pinar del Rio, Cuba.
"SEMI VUELTA, PERFECT FOR PLANT NURSERIES"
SEMI VUELTA - The Semi-Vuelta region (or Consolación del Sur) - another prime location where cigar wrappers and fillers are harvested. The leaves in this area are considered to be much more full-bodied and stronger in aroma, therefore, could be used to make much stronger cigar blends. However, this area does not have a large industry for the cultivation of Habano leaves. For the most part, the tobacco grown in this area is used for exports and other purposes, for instance, the soil here is perfect for plant nurseries - this means that the seeds are grown here but later transferred to the Vuelta Abajo region.
"PARTIDO, A PRIME TOBACCO AREA"
PARTIDO - Partido contains a historical group of tobacco plantations which specialise in cultivating long-filler and short-filler Habanos leaves. The area was first discovered in the 17th century and had been incorporating plantations in regions such as the traditional south-west and recently the south-east of Havana city. Today, it is protected by the Denomination of origin. Not far from Partido is the city of Havana, where most of the Habanos factories and stores are based.
“VUELTA ARRIBA, A HISTORIC LOCATION”
REMEDIOS - Vuelta Arriba is a region located far-East of Cuba. In the region, there are two major tobacco areas: Remedios and Oriente. Remedios is considered to be Cuba’s largest and oldest tobacco-growing region, which has also been nominated the Denomination of Origin. Here, is where the source of all types of leaf for one Habanos brand - ‘Jose L. Piedra Cigars’. The Remedios leaf is known under the name of ‘tabaco de liga’ (blending tobacco) and ‘tabaco de exportación’ (export tobacco). So you can expect many famous Cuban cigars have leaves from the Remedios region in Cuba.
ORIENTE - In 1492, in the far-eastern area of the Oriente region, Columbus first stepped foot on the shores of Cuba and discovered tobacco. In this area, only a very smart part actually cultivates tobacco for cigars, despite its past for doing so. Tobacco from Oriente is now mainly used for cigarettes and as an export for foreign blending.
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