Cuban tobacco: New interest in an old tradition

With more visitors in Cuba, cigar sales on the island are brisk. One Cuban family has been producing tobacco the same way for well over 150 years and there’s a cigar, Vegas Robaina, named after them that honors the tradition.

SAN LUIS, CubaIn Cuba, there’s only one tobacco grower whose face has been deemed worthy to grace a box of Cuban cigars. It’s the late Alejandro Robaina, and premium Vegas Robaina cigars have spread his fame to cigar aficionados around the globe.

Now his descendants work the same tobacco lands in Cuba’s famed Vuelta Abajo, where the creme de la creme of Cuban tobacco and the finest capas — wrappers —are produced using the same methods of Don Alejandro. Before he died in 2010, the man who rose from humble roots on the leaves of tobacco had traveled the world as an ambassador for Cuban cigars.

So popular were Vegas Robaina cigars during the XVIII Festival Habano, which celebrated the Cuban cigar from Feb. 29 to March 4 this year, that there was scarcely a box to be found in Havana weeks after the event ended.

The rapprochement between the United States and Cuba and the influx of American visitors eager to sample one of Cuba’s most famous products also has spiked demand for Habanos.

Read more at InCubaToday.

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