Many of Cuba's top tobacco farmers and blenders fled Cuba after the 1959 Cuban Revolution. Historiographers believe that Carlos Torano Sr. is responsible for the introduction of Cuban seed from Cuba's Vuelta Abajo area to the Dominican Republic. The Cuban seed is also known as "Piloto Cubano." Dominican cigars have been a great alternative to Cuban cigars in the past and are now selling well.
The perfect conditions for producing the finest cigars are created by the combination of time, water and the sun in Central America. Every Dominican village has its own climate and soil and thus its own quality of cigars.
The tobacco from Villa Gonzalez in the Northwest is rich and full-bodied. The Southwest village Jacagua, however, has the best climate and most fertile soil. The majority of tobacco farmers in this area only cultivate two to three acres, and they work their own land.
Jacagua is much more sophisticated and elegant than La Canela. The Northwest Valley of Navarette is much dryer. Jacagua's soil is more fertile than this one. Navarette has farms that are larger than Jacagua, with some reaching 100 acres. They are managed by hired workers from nearby villages.
The majority of Dominican cigars made in Dominican cigar factories use a mixture of tobaccos from countries such as Nicaragua, Honduras and Ecuador. Blenders use Dominican tobacco mainly as filler, but sometimes also as binder. Olor, Piloto Cubano, and San Vicente are the three main varieties of Dominican tobacco.
Piloto is the most prized of all three. The seed comes from Cuba's Vuelta Abajo. Because of its bold and rich flavor, cigar makers use it as a filler in their blends. San Vicente, a blend of Piloto Cubano with San Vicente, was originally created on the San Vicente farm in the Vuelta Abajo. San Vincente is slightly weaker than Piloto. Olor can have a dry, salty flavor but can also be quite neutral in flavor. The three strength levels are usually used by cigar makers to make blends. They are listed in descending order of strength: ligero seco and volado.
With its afternoon rain showers and breezes and plenty of sunshine, the Dominican Republic is home to many famous premium cigar makers like Arturo Fuente and Montecristo. Fuente Fuente OpusX, a 100% Dominican ultra-premium cigar, was released in 1995. Few cigar makers believed that the Dominican Republic could produce high-quality tobacco before Opus X was released.
Fuente planted shade-grown Cuban seeds at Chateau De la Fuente to prove that the naysayers were wrong. The result was a stunning Rosado tobacco with a lot of character and strength. General Cigar Company produces Partagas and Cohiba in Dominican. They are both non-Cuban products that compete with the namesake Cuban brands.
The General Cigar Company is also responsible for Macanudo production, which is located in Dominican Republic. Montecristo No. Montecristo No. 2 is the most well-known cigar made in La Romana Dominican Republic. It is considered to be the finest non-Cuban cigar brand in the world.
The Dominican Republic's soil is very similar to Cuban soil. The Dominican Republic can produce tobaccos with the same depth, flavor and strength, even though it isn't exactly the same. The richness and variety of Dominican tobaccos is something that a true cigar enthusiast would not overlook.
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