David Savona

New Cigars From TAA

Posted: Apr 3, 2008 1:47pm ET
I’m on my way back from the annual Tobacconist Association of America conference, which was held in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The TAA, as it’s known, is a small group of American cigar shop owners and many cigarmakers. They gather annually to discuss important issues facing the cigar industry and to do a little business. I look upon it as a much smaller, more social version of what used to be called the RTDA show.

Smoking in Paradise—St. Barth's

Posted: Mar 26, 2008 12:16pm ET
I spent last week on the island of Saint Barth’s, which is also known as Saint Bart’s and officially called Saint Barthélemy. Whatever name you use, it’s a gorgeous, hilly eight-square mile island in the French West Indies with superb beaches, wonderful cuisine, balmy weather and Cuban cigars.

DR Cigar Fest--The Wrapup

Posted: Mar 11, 2008 11:31am ET
The first ProCigar Festival is in the books, and it went pretty well. About 120 people had a chance to spend time with cigarmakers in their factories and fields, they smoked up a storm and they got a nice taste of Dominican culture. A few even did the extended stay and spent this weekend in La Romana, home to Tabacalera de Garcia, and played in a golf tournament. I wish I could have joined them, but I had to return home.

DR Cigar Fest—The Parties

Posted: Mar 10, 2008 12:45pm ET
Every night of the ProCigar Festival ended with a party. And they were pretty darn good ones, too.

I’ve been to the Dominican Republic dozens of times since joining Cigar Aficionado magazine in 1995, but I rarely see any more of the city than tobacco fields, cigar factories or restaurants. Thursday night was my first visit to the Monument to The Heroes of the Restoration in the town’s center, a 220 foot tall landmark created in the 1940s. The cocktail party began there, with locals dressed in the type of festive garb worn in parades and plenty of rum and great music.

DR Cigar Fest—Into the Fields

Posted: Mar 7, 2008 5:18pm ET
Yesterday I headed out with the tour group to embark on ProCigar’s version of Cigar 101—trips to cigar factories and tobacco fields where the tour guides are some of the leading men in the cigar world. It was a gorgeous, sunny day and people were in a fine mood.

DR Cigar Festival—Opening Night

Posted: Mar 6, 2008 2:33pm ET
I walked into the lobby at the Gran Almirante last night and ran smack into Avo Uvezian, creator of the Avo brand. He was holding court, surrounded by six cigar fans that were tapping his brain about making cigars. I said hello to Avo and smiled.

The Dominican Cigar Festival—The Beginning

Posted: Mar 5, 2008 4:13pm ET
I’ve just arrived in Santiago for the first annual ProCigar Festival. This has been a long time coming, and I’m happy to be here. Cuba has had its cigar festival for more than a decade now, so why not a similar one in the Dominican Republic?

The Gift of Baseball

Posted: Feb 21, 2008 11:27am ET
Baseball is king in the Dominican Republic, so when the Cigar Family Charitable Foundation created a school for the impoverished children around the Chateau de la Fuente tobacco plantation it was only natural to include a baseball field. But baseball fields cost money, and there was only so much to go around, and other, more pressing projects meant the field and the children’s fun had to wait.

Payback Time

Posted: Jan 31, 2008 1:06pm ET
I’m the commissioner of a fantasy football league in my town. One thing has remained constant since it began four years ago—I haven’t won.

Not since that first, smoky draft where Mr. Priest Holmes was my No. 1 pick and led me to the No. 2 spot in the league have I even threatened to win the damn thing. This year I finished in seventh place out of 12 guys. That’s bad enough, but it comes with an extra dose of insult—tonight, dinner is on me.

The Dominican Republic—Day Four

Posted: Jan 18, 2008 1:15am ET
Today we headed out to the Bonao region of the Dominican Republic, an agricultural area about halfway between Santiago and Santo Domingo. We were heading to Chateau de la Fuente, the tobacco farm that gave birth to the Fuente Fuente OpusX brand.

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