The Honduran-made Illusione brand, owned by Dion Giolito, has a new, lighter extension called Illusione Epernay. Named after the heart of France's Champagne region, Epernay is an all-Nicaraguan cigar comprising tobacco from two specific farms and finished with a shade-grown Corojo '99 wrapper leaf.
"Certain cigars and Champagne go together fabulously," said Giolito. "I think that this cigar is the perfect complement to great Champagnes, so I named it after a region in France that made this grape famous."
According to Giolito, the blend is more suited to a "European palate," which, to him, entails using a lighter shade of wrapper, and replacing some of the spicy character of his other brands with a sweeter, more floral tobacco.
For more on this story, see the April 7 issue of Cigar Insider.