I spent quite a bit of time the other day with Michael Giannini, director of marketing for General Cigar Co. and La Gloria Cubana. Mike came by the Cigar Aficionado office with Victoria McKee from General to give us an exclusive look at a new La Gloria Cubana that’s been in the works for a year and a half.
Tuesday in the Dominican Republic. The ProCigar Festival doesn’t officially begin here in Santiago until Wednesday, so I planned to spend this day meeting people who aren’t part of the organization. The idea was to spend the morning with Mike Chiusano of Cusano Cigars, but he had to cancel at the 11th hour, so that left my morning free.
I spent Monday afternoon in Santiago, Dominican Republic, with one of the true masters of the cigar business, Ernesto Perez-Carrillo. You know him from his years at La Gloria Cubana, first in Miami, later in the Dominican Republic. La Gloria was the first real star of the American cigar boom of the mid-1990s, and that was due to the hard work of Ernesto, who made a damn fine cigar and sold it at an honest price
Eight a.m., Estelí, Nicaragua. I haven’t had breakfast but I’ve already lit my first cigar.
This is how I live when I’m in Nicaragua, home to some of the finest premium cigars on the planet. I’ve been here this week meeting with cigarmakers and tobacco growers who have come together for the first Nicaraguan cigar festival.
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