Cigars: Tobacco Growing

Tobacco Everywhere

For making cigars, tobacco is grown all around the world, from Poland to South Africa, from Argentina to Canada and, westbound, from Philippines to Mexico. But cigar tobaccos are mainly grown in the intertropical areas.

Tobacco Origin

Tobacco is known as a plant originally from America. Some species were identified in South Pacific. There are many species and varieties. Not all of them are used in smoking products. Many are grown as ornamental plants as they are frequently blooming, showing colors from white to dark red and purple.

Here are some of the countries in which tobacco is grown, to produce your cigars.

Argentina

Argentina grows dark air-cured tobacco in the provinces of Misiones and Corrientes, and flue cured tobacco in the area of Salta. Misiones has also a production of Burley type. These tobaccos are mainly for cigarettes but Corrientes is appreciated for short filler cigars because of its smooth taste. Argentina used to be a big producer and exporter but changes in the economic and income tax policies have seriously damaged the production, making the tobacco too expensive to be competitive on the international market. Consequently, production volumes have decreased.

Brazil

Brazil is one of the largest world’s tobacco producers. The East Central State of Bahia is an important cigar tobacco growing area, about 100 miles west of the state capital, Salvador da Bahia, an active port on the Atlantic Coast. The Northern State of Alagoas hosts a production around the city of Arapiraca where maduro cigar wrappers are grown. The Southern states of Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina produce tobacco for cigarettes and pipe.

Cameroon

Cameroon cigar wrappers are grown in the East part of the country. The growing area spreads over the eastern border, into the Central African Republic. Wrappers are air grown, without fertilizers and pesticides, by small farmers. The average plantation size is about one acre. The seed is originally from Sumatra, introduced in the country just after WWII. Grown first for French Monopoly needs, the tobacco was offered on the international market when production was too large for this single use. Well appreciated by European manufacturers and large American cigars companies, Cameroon wrapper production dropped down during the late 1980s, due to poor management. Today, quantities are small and quality could be better.

China

China is by far the biggest tobacco producer, with approximately 5 millions metric tons. USA follows with about 1 million metric tons. Chinese tobacco Buy pipe tobacco online is a flue-cured type, not aromatic and a bit sharp in taste. This tobacco is not suitable for cigars. It is mainly used for local cigarette consumption. A small quantity is exported. Cigarette industries import the tobacco and use it as a neutral and cheap filler.

Connecticut, USA

The Connecticut Valley, in the Northeast of the USA, is well known for its bright yellow cigar wrapper. Because of a very hot and sunny summer, the tobacco is shade grown. Whoever has flown over Hartford, CT, seated next to the window, could not fail to have seen the huge white acreage of land standing all around: the tobacco fields covered with white clothes to protect the plants from the direct sun radiation. And the huge barns, large like cathedrals, ready for the flue curing. Impressive!

Cuba

Tobacco grows all across Cuba. Your premium cigar has been made, I hope, out of tobacco coming from the West province of Vuelta Abajo, where a really good material is harvested. In Central and East Cuba, the provinces of Remedios and Oriente yield tobacco that is not supposed to be acceptable for what everybody calls a Havana!

Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic is a traditional tobacco-growing country. In the 60’s, a Cuban seed was introduced and the resulting tobacco (Piloto Cubano) became famous as a good substitute of the Cuban tobacco that was no longer allowed to enter the USA. Exiled Cubans did a great job there. Piloto Cubano is a full bodied tobacco but, maybe, is missing some aroma. Blended with Olor dominicano type, more aromatic, Piloto Cubano makes the 100% dominican cigar a very decent cigar. Both Dominican types are good components for multi-origin blends.

East Mediterranean Countries

The Eastern countries of the Mediterranean Sea are devoted to the culture of Oriental type tobacco, which is sun-cured. Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria are the main producers, but Lebanon, Syria, Macedonia, and Romania are also growing. This tobacco has tiny leaves, which are sometimes only 2 inches long. The sun curing gives them a yellowish color and high sugar content. Aroma is generally rich and a small proportion of oriental tobacco in a blend brings a lot in the taste. This tobacco is not used for long filler cigars, but only in short filler cigars and cigarettes.

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