Cigar Aficionado

Cuba Video: The Farm of Hector Luis Prieto

Far to the west on the island of Cuba lies the province of Pinar del Río, and within that area is a special spot known as the Vuelta Abajo. There, where the soil is reddish-brown and the air is clean, life seems to slow down. Days are defined by work, and on the small farms that dot the region, more often than not that work is tending to tobacco. For this is where Cuba's finest cigar tobacco is grown, leaves that go on such treasured cigars as Cohibas, Montecristos and Romeo y Julietas.

In December, Cigar Aficionado's Gordon Mott and David Savona visited a very special farm in the region, one that had never been written about in Cigar Aficionado, a place where few visitors have been. It was the plantation of Hector Luis Prieto. On the very day when Prieto's small cadre of workers was putting up the thin shade over his tobacco field, Cigar Aficionado met with the man and shot video of his tobacco fields to bring you a first-hand account of how tobacco is grown on a very small—but most efficient—farm. For while Prieto won't turn 40 until August, he has won the prestigious Habanos Man of the Year Award for his remarkable achievements in the field, producing a higher yield of fine wrapper tobacco than any of his neighbors. He is the youngest man ever to win the award.

For the full story on Hector Luis Prieto and how he grows shade tobacco leaf, see the February issue of Cigar Aficionado magazine, on sale now.

"Good stuff. Would LOVE to smoke something from his fields. One day, maybe!" —July 23, 2013 19:06 PM
"report from Hector. I was at Hector's plantation last week. had an amazing visit. spent the day with Hector, Muigel, and Alex. Toured the plantation with hector and Alex as Muigel rolled me up 25 smokes to bring back home. The seedlings are well underway but the transplant has been delayed a few weeks until Hector feels it is perfect timing to move them into the fields. Hector is well and is planing on launching his own brand of cigars in the near future. I was able to get a sneak peak of the upcoming labels and boxes! I have pictures that I would be more than happy to send you if you like, as well a a report from Havana. I just arrived home to Vancouver this morning and need to go and get a new Humidor to store my smokes in. I was able to return with over 200 cigars with the help of family while still maintaining my legal limits. " —November 5, 2012 16:24 PM
"Who's running the camera, Michael J. Fox? Turn the stabile on, on that thing, please!" —January 19, 2011 13:36 PM
"That vest has served me well through the years. Used to wear it on every cigar trip, took a break for awhile but now it's back. It has pockets for cigars, pens, lighter, cutter, camera, notebook....everything I need. Puro chaleco indeed." —January 18, 2011 20:51 PM
"I love the hue of the soil in that area. Nice vest Dave plenty of pockets for the cigars; puro chaleco." —January 18, 2011 20:03 PM
"Very interesting seeing his operation. It is quite small in comparison to some of the others I have seen." —January 18, 2011 14:03 PM
"Could we be seeing the next Alejandro Robaina? " —January 18, 2011 11:32 AM