1994 - WORLDWIDE CIGAR MAKER

The year 1994 was a celebrative time for the tobacco industry in the Dominican Republic. We became the mayor worldwide exporter of premium handmade cigars, over passing Cuba. This is more important if we know that we didn’t have an exporting tobacco industry until the beginnings of the 1960’s.

It has been more the 20 years already since Cuba lost its supremacy in the cigar manufacturing world, for the connoisseurs the slogan that used to say “if it’s not Cuban cigar, is not a good cigar”, is the past.

RISE OF DOMINICAN CIGAR

Before the Cuban revolution in 1959, the Dominican Republic was like the poor merchant in the cigar manufacturing world. We produce a dark tobacco that was to smooth and lacked scent.

Luckily, some historical events made the Dominican Republic the go-to place for tobacco. Thanks to the United States embargo on Cuba in 1962, and then the Sandinista conflict in Nicaragua in 1979 to 1990, which also affected Honduras, all this tobacco growing regions, made the Dominican Republic the only stable place to start tobacco harvesting with great climatic conditions for the tobacco to grow.

The Dominican Republic presents excellent conditions for the tobacco to grow. It’s located in the other side of the Caribbean, almost a thousand kilometers from Cuba, but enjoys the same weather and soil as in Cuba.

FOUNDATION OF INTABACO

Nevertheless, when everything was starting in the Dominican Republic, the tobacco merchants were still buying other leaves from countries of the tropical circle.

The Dominican government established an institute for the investigation of tobacco agriculture in the Dominican Republic, Intabaco or Institute of tobacco, located in the northern area of the country, where most of the tobacco grow.

Because all of this, an exodus of cigar producers came to the Dominican Republic, looking for those conditions that will enable them to build their fortunes. Tobacco isn’t expensive, we have cheap labor hand and abundant, the government helps and gives tax credits to certain conditions.

The Dominican government years ago made the appropriate land reservations just for tobacco harvesting.

TOBACCO GROWN IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

In the island we mostly grow three types of tobacco. One local variety called “olor dominicano” of soft leaves and scent, and two Cuban varieties, “piloto cubano” and “San Vicente”, used for stronger cigars with more body.

The Dominican Republic isn’t famous for its wrappers, but in the recent years we’ve manage to create hybrids capable of growing locally, stimulating local production.

LARGEST CIGAR MANUFACTURER

The Dominican Republic exports around 400 millions units of handmade cigars.

Without any doubt, the Dominican Republic is the world producer of premium cigars, pushing Cuba and other countries way down in the rankings in terms of production.