NOWHERE IN THE WORLD GROWS TOBACCO BETTER THAN CUBA. BUT EVEN HERE, ONLY A FEW SELECTED PLANTATIONS ARE JUDGED GOOD ENOUGH TO GROW THE TOBACCO FOR HABANOS.
As a great wine is defined by its vineyard, so the character of a Habano is intimately connected with the land where the tobacco grows. The locations where tobacco for Habanos can be grown are strictly limited to certain defined regions of Cuba. These are the elite Vegas de Primera – first class fields. They enjoy a special status as Protected Denominations of Origin (D.O.P). You will find each one marked with an asterisk in the text.
PINAR DEL RIO
Pinar del Rio* is the name of the province that embraces all of the important growing zones in the west of Cuba, and the name of the provincial capital. It also gives its name to a tobacco region that is protected as a Denomination of Origin, and in which there are several tobacco zones such as Vuelta Abajo* and Semi Vuelta, and districts like San Juan y Martínez* and San Luis*.
“The finest cigar tobacco-growing land in the world” Vuelta Abajo* is the main source of tobacco for Habanos, and the only zone that grows all types of leaf: wrappers, filler and binders. Indeed all tobacco for fillers and binders for “Long Filler” Habanos comes from this privileged zone. Even here less than a quarter of the tobacco-growing land enjoys the Vegas de Primera status that is required for the growing of tobacco for Habanos.
San Luis*: Small town at the epicentre of Cuban tobacco culture, known above all for the cultivation of wrapper leaves. Here you find the world-famous El Corojo Vega as well as the Cuchillas de Barbacoa farm. It is one of the two districts from which the leaves grown on its finest vegas are selected for the Cohiba brand.
SAN JUAN Y MARTINEZ
The other famous small town in Vuelta Abajo*. It has a particular reputation for the cultivation of fillers and binders, and the famous Hoyo de Monterrey plantation is located here. It is the other district where the finest vegas supply leaves for Cohiba.
The other tobacco zone, situated in the Pinar del Río region, known mainly for its cultivation of binder and filler leaves for “Short Filler” Habanos. The area of this zone employed for Habanos is very small, barely one percent of its tobacco growing land. Nevertheless it has good soil for producing seeds which are later sown in Vuelta Abajo*. Most Semi Vuelta tobacco is grown for other purposes.
Founded during the early 17th Century, Partido* is a historic tobacco region which specialises in the cultivation of wrapper leaves for long and short filler Habanos.
Remedios* is Cuba’s oldest tobacco producing region. It is the source of the leaf for one particular Habano brand: José L Piedra.