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An Interview With Dr. Reto Cina

President and Chief Executive Officer, Oettinger/Davidoff Group
David Savona
From the Print Edition:
Andy Garcia, Mar/April 2004

(continued from page 4)

Q: Is that something that people bring up, Davidoffs from Cuba?

A: No, no. We know that there are people who like to have a much stronger cigar and we knew that within the Avo line we had one, but it wasn't a Davidoff. Now we are able to really have a Davidoff cigar for each different kind of need of the customer, from the very mild one up to the really strong and full-bodied cigar. Of course, when we were launching and promoting the Millennium blend, that was certainly one of the arguments we had given to the customer, that with that cigar, we are back to the more aromatic cigars, similar to the time when the Davidoff cigars were produced in Cuba.


Q: You must have been very happy with the reception to that cigar.

A: Here we have to say that we thank [Hendrik] Kelner; we really have a great producer, not to say artist, in blending cigars, and we may say that we really are the masters of blending. The big thing is that we are able to create and develop new lines, not really in the same way as the existing ones.


Q: What other new plans do you have?

A: I cannot reveal all the secrets. We are working on different items in order to maintain this aspect that the Oettinger/Davidoff Group is -- or at least tries to be -- ahead of our competitors. For instance, we now have launched the first vintage cigar which has ever been made by Davidoff. Why did we wait such a long time? Because we think and strongly believe that if we, as Davidoff, have a vintage cigar, it must be something really extraordinary. We were waiting until we had the chance to have the harvest of the year 2000, this extraordinary year -- weatherwise, humiditywise -- that allowed us to create these extraordinary cigars. To blend this cigar was really a special effort, because if you have the chance to add tobacco from different years, from different farms, coming from different soils, you may more easily get to the blend you really would like to have. But being limited and restricted to the tobaccos coming out of one year, it has made the path even more difficult for Henke [Kelner] to really get a well-balanced cigar, as we have now in hand with this Davidoff Vintage cigar.


Q: This sounds like a new corporate strategy for Davidoff.

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