David Savona

The Dominican Republic—Day Three

Posted: Jan 17, 2008 12:15am ET
Today I saw a brilliant tobacco field, watched my co-worker learn how to roll a cigar, ate more than my fill and saw the biggest collection of cigar ashes I have ever witnessed.

We started at La Aurora, the oldest cigarmaker in the Dominican Republic. The company recently moved from Santiago to Guazumal, a part of Tamboril, where La Auroras were first rolled in 1903. Jose Blanco, the company’s director of sales, met us at the Gran Almirante early in the morning.

The Dominican Republic—Day Two

Posted: Jan 15, 2008 6:25pm ET
I spent the day looking at tobacco fields and cigar factories here in Santiago. It was a bright, warm and sunny day, as this is the heart of tobacco growing season in the Dominican Republic.

Before I left on this trip, I asked you for questions that you would like answered in my blogs, which will appear all week here on www.cigaraficionado.com. Some of you inquired about the state of the crop, due to the heavy rains that fell in the fall and winter—tropical storms hit the country in October and December, doing damage to the fields.

Back in the Dominican Republic—Day One

Posted: Jan 14, 2008 11:39pm ET
There’s something about that first glimpse of a palm tree, that first smell of the air, the initial shock of feeling warmth in the middle of the winter that tells you you’re back in the tropics. It hit me today as I walked off the plane at the Santiago airport. I’m back in the Dominican Republic, back in cigar country.

Heading to the Dominican Republic

Posted: Jan 7, 2008 12:27pm ET
This is the time of year my cigar travels get into full swing. Winter in New York means tobacco season in the Caribbean and Central America, and a week from today I’ll be stomping my boots in Santiago, Dominican Republic, looking at tobacco in the fields and watching cigars being rolled in the city’s myriad cigar factories.

Happy New Year

Posted: Dec 31, 2007 1:42pm ET
There’s only a few hours left of 2007, so I’m taking a moment to reflect on the year gone by.

First, this was as fast a year as any I remember. I’m sure part of the reason is the four-year-old who is playing in front of me as I type this (now I know what dad was talking about when I was younger), and the other reason is the full year I had at work.

Miami—Day Three

Posted: Dec 22, 2007 11:26am ET
I’m flying out of Miami early this afternoon, but I had time to fit one last meeting into my schedule before I left. This morning I had breakfast with Litto Gomez, maker of La Flor Dominicana, LG Diez and Coronado by La Flor cigars.

Miami--Day Two

Posted: Dec 22, 2007 12:27am ET
I’m back in my hotel room after a long, full day in Miami. I started in Hialeah, at a cigar factory/shop I had never visited before called Flor de Gonzalez. If you want to try a smoke made in the United States, you don’t have to limit your search to 8th Street. Flor de Gonzalez makes very good smokes in a small space about one mile from the Miami International Airport. The Gonzalez family has about five rollers—three were working today—making cigars, and they’ve done fairly well in Cigar Aficionado tastings.

Miami---Day One

Posted: Dec 21, 2007 1:12am ET
There’s clearly something wrong with me. I spent the other night standing in my driveway, swinging a 10-pound sledgehammer into the ground to break the inch-thick coating of ice that was just about everywhere. Now I’m walking around in short sleeves and sunglasses in Miami, where the weather is absolutely perfect.

Thoughts of Sir Winston

Posted: Dec 17, 2007 1:21pm ET
I’ve always admired Sir Winston Churchill. Half American, half British, a man of words and a man of action, he stood up to the Nazi threat, all while puffing more cigars than 20 men would normally smoke. How can you not admire him?

Remembering Alfons

Posted: Nov 30, 2007 11:55am ET
I opened one of the cabinet humidors in the office this morning, spied a box of cigars in a corner, and couldn’t help feeling a bit sad. It’s a box of Alfons Mayer cigars, and I’ve had them since 2005.

Alfons Mayer was an outstanding tobacco man, one of the world’s best, and for years he was the tobacco buyer for General Cigar Co. Think of this for a moment—he bought all of the tobacco for a company making tens of millions of cigars every year. He lived on a plane, visited virtually every country that grows usable cigar tobacco and was a walking encyclopedia of tobacco knowledge.

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