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A Celebration of Premium Cigars in the Dominican Republic

Gregory Mottola
From the Print Edition:
The Brains Behind Homeland, May/June 2012

(continued from page 1)

The activities began on February 19 in La Romana, where guests could partake in a golf tournament before touring Altadis U.S.A.’s Tabacalera de Garcia facility, the largest cigar factory in the Dominican Republic and the producer of Romeo y Julieta, Montecristo and H. Upmann.

After being shuttled from La Romana to Santiago, attendees had the option to tour cigar factories (Davidoff, Corporación Cigar Export, General Cigar, La Aurora, Matasa) or visit tobacco fields in Jicomé and Mao. Some of the factory tours, such as General’s and Davidoff’s, included interactive rolling and blending seminars, and Matasanm conducted a tasting of tobacco components and a sampling of the Nat Sherman Timeless, a cigar that Matasa makes under contract.

After each day’s activity, there was a dinner, each held at a different location and each with a different theme. One evening explored the traditional foods of the Dominican Republic and peaked with a meringue competition. The second dinner—the White Dinner—was held at the Monumento a los Héroes de la Restauración, a large, hilltop marble monument in Santiago.

This was something of an honor for both the guests and the industry as ProCigar is the only organization in the entire country allowed to hold dinner events on these premises. Cigars such as the Davidoff White Label 2012 Limited Edition, Fuente Fuente OpusX BBMF and General Cigar’s Special Blend #7 were passed out.

Dinner on the last night was held at Santiago’s Centro Español. It was a formal affair with a live auction whose 10 lots of rare humidors and cigars raised $65,000 for charity—the entire festival raised $85,000 total. In an unexpected gesture of last-minute generosity, rum producer Bacardi donated an additional $1 million to ProCigar, who in turn gifted the money to The Children’s Heart Foundation.

ProCigar is an association of Dominican cigar manufacturers dedicated to maintaining the high-quality standards of the Dominican Republic’s premium cigar industry as well as communicating the mission and culture of the region’s cigar industry to the rest of the world.

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