Three types of tobacco are grown in the Dominican Republic. A local variety known as Olor Dominicano, used for the softer cigars, and Cuban varieties, Piloto Cubano and San Vicente, used for the stronger and full-bodied cigars. The Cubans come from seeds from the Vuelta Abajo region. The San Vicente is a hybrid derived from the Piloto Cubano. There are plenty of fields inside the Yaque Valley. The harvest is usually bought via intermediaries, who in turn sell it to specific factories. Some growers, however, are contractually associated with private manufacturers.
Tabacos Dominicanos (Davidoff), for example, maintains an area in Villa Gonzales with an exclusive network of several growers, similar to the ones for its personal use. The largest tobacco growers are installed within the heart of the Yaque Valley, in Santiago, and in Villa Gonzales.
Just to point it out the valley in the province of San Juan de la Maguana is another area with the right conditions to grow tobacco that’s grabbing the attention of manufacturers.
Dried tobacco leaf
Although the Dominicans do not have a long culture like the Cubans within the elaboration of hand-made cigars, they have already confirmed their skill in such craft. It takes approximately six months to build a “torcedor” (cigar rollers) but, in this period, each buck that is produced is earned. The demand for knowledgeable “torcedores”, following the proliferation of factories, has produced that the average salary of a “torcedor” to multiplied compared to what they earned earlier than 1993: a dollar a day. In over forty years of production, Dominican cigars have steadily stepped forward and earned their current reputation.
Tobacco plants just about to sprout in Tamboril, Dominican Republic.
Certainly, the Dominican Republic hasn’t replaced Cuba inside the international marketplace, it has done what was deemed impossible: becoming an equal competitor in terms of quality and way ahead in terms of production.
Tobacco is usually combined with other varieties of leaves and used as a filler (filler) and, less often, as tirulo (inner wrapper leaf). The strongest tobacco still ought to be imported, generally from Honduras, Mexico, and Brazil. Another weak point is that Dominican leaves are not appropriate for high layers (outer wrapper leaves), and these must additionally be imported, basically from Cameroon and Ecuador. Some manufacturers are challenging this though producer local varieties of wrappers
All other images belong to Arbajecigars.