Point of Origin

The majority of today's cigar leaf is grown in the rich, volcanic, soils in the valleys of some Caribbean countries.  The area tobacco is grown in result in a leaf of distinctive character particular to that area, even leaf grown in different fields in the same country will vary.  Different climatic conditions from one batch to the next will also cause some variation.  It is indeed a task for even the most experienced master blender to work among all these variables to produce a cigar that is consistent in flavor and quality.

Dominican Republic

Most of today's premium cigar leaf is grown in two fertile valleys in the Dominican Republic,  the Real and especially the Cibao river valley near Santiago.  Two major types of filler leaf are grown in these valleys, Olor Dominicano (Dominican seed) and Piloto Cubano (Cuban seed).  Until recent years, only filler and binder leaf were grown in the Dominican Republic.  Arturo Fuente now uses a Dominican wrapper developed for their "Opus X" series.  However, most Dominican cigars have either an African Cameroon or Connecticut shade grown wrapper. 


Honduras is the second largest producer of cigars today.  The high-quality Connecticut-seed Shade grown and Cuban seed varieties grown here are rich, pungent and full-flavored.  Many experts agree that this spicy leaf is closest to Cuban leaf in terms of strength.  Relatively recently, Honduras started using leaf from other countries in their cigars, allowing more diversity in their blends.


After suffering many set-backs, including outbreaks of blue mold and civil war in the heart of the tobacco region, the tobacco production here is recovering quickly.   The filler, binder and wrapper leaf grown in the valleys of Jalapa and Esteli near the Honduran border, is very similar to that produced in Honduras.


The leaf grown in Cuba is strong, full-bodied, rich and spicy in flavor.   This dark brown leaf with bluish-black tinges is renown for it's suppleness and oily sheen.  Cuban cigars are distinctively rich and have a robust, earthy aroma. 
There are four growing regions in Cuba.  The legendary Vuelta Abajo, of the Pinar del Rio province in western Cuba, is famous for producing some of the finest cigar leaf the world has ever known.  All three types of cigar leaf are grown here - shade-grown wrapper, binder and filler.  Other areas of production include the Semi Vuelta in the same region, the Partido region in Havana Province produces only wrapper leaf, there are two sections of Oriente province in the southeast where mostly filler leaf is grown, and Santa Clara province in the Remedios region (Vuelta Arriba) produces mostly filler and some wrapper leaf.
Just in case you didn't know....due to circumstances beyond our control, it is against the law to sell or purchase Cuban cigars in the U.S.  After the embargo was placed, many Cuban cigar makers fled to Dominican Republic and Honduras, taking with them burlap sacks filled with Cuban tobacco seed.  The remaining Cuban manufacturers could no longer rely on the American market for their product. Production of tobacco diminished and many of the fields where tobacco had been grown were converted to sugar and other food crops.  Fertilizers for these crops change the soil chemistry.  The tobacco being grown in those fields now, has changed in character.  Over time, the soil in these fields will be leached of fertilizers and the quality of Cuban tobacco will return to it's former glory.  Eventually, policies will change and the embargo will be history.  The Cuban cigars will then join the plethora of premium cigars that already exist on the American market.


Not much of the tobacco used for cigars made in Jamaica is actually grown in Jamaica.  What little there is, is similar to Dominican leaf.  Jamaica is well-known for other crops.  Jamaican cigars are primarily Dominican tobaccos.


Sumatra-seed, sun-grown tobacco, from the valley of San Andres Tuxtla is neutral in flavor.  For this reason, it is often used as binder and filler by other countries in their cigars.  Mexican cigars are, by law, 100% Mexican tobacco.  Leaf grown in a region near Nayaret is often used for maduro wrappers since they are durable enough to withstand the cooking and sweating process that is sometimes used to create this type of wrapper.


There is now an abundance of tobacco being produced in Equador, including premium quality shade-grown and sun-grown, wrapper and filler leaf.  Connecticut Valley and Sumatra-seed varieties grown here produce a milder, more medium-bodied leaf than other countries.  Ecuadorian wrapper is an extremely supple leaf with a silky texture and slightly oily look.   The color is a little lighter than Cameroon leaf and a bit more bluish-black in hue.  


The leaf grown along the eastern coast in the region of Cruz Des Olmos in the Bahia Province is a  full-bodied and rich,  yet quite mild.  This tobacco, black in color after fermentation, adds a spicy note to some blends.

United States

North of Hartford Connecticut lies the Housatonic Valley region.   This is where some of the finest wrapper-leaf available is grown under cheesecloth tents.   "Connecticut Shade" leaf is a very elastic leaf of golden brown color.  This mild to medium-bodied leaf is used in the production of some of today's finest cigars.  "Connecticut Broadleaf" is another variety of tobacco grown here.  It is a richer, full-bodied, near black leaf, and is often used for maduro wrappers.


Tobacco production in this region of West Africa had been drastically reduced in recent years due to bad weather and other factors, but it is now rebounding some.  The nut brown wrapper leaf produced here originated from Sumatra seed.   It is extremely mild with a neutral to slightly nutty, spice-like flavor.  The mildness of this leaf makes it an excellent choice for a full-flavored blend.  Seeds from this tobacco are now being grown in other countries.


The leaf grown on the islands of this region, especially Java and Sumatra, is light brown in color, with a subtle citrus-like, zesty flavor.  Most of the wrapper leaf from this region is being used in the production of small or dry-cured cigars and a few premium handmade cigars.


The cigars produced here are neutral in flavor and very mild.

Other countries

Of some significance in the production of cigars are Costa Rica, Panama, Barbados, Belgium, Germany, Guatemala, Canary Islands, China, Venezuela and Argentina.



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