Tobacco Asia

Volume 20, Number 3

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22 tobaccoasia / Issue 3, 2016 July / August By Eric Piras (Photo: Cigar Vixen) Cuba, Nicaragua, Honduras, the Dominican Republic… aficionados have a real and strong passion for the best-known production of these countries and might have recurrent dreams about them, but how many actually visit the birthplaces of their favourite cigars? Celebrating Cigars: Global Cigar Fests The best opportunities are really found during the cigar festivals held in several countries of origin. Cuba's Habanos Festival: the most glamorous The 18th edition of the Habanos Festival was held in March, and a very special edition it was, since it marked the 50th anniversary of Cohiba. Held in Havana, the event saw about 2,100 aficionados and industry professionals flock to the island for a week of commercial showcases, tours to planta- tions and cigar factories, lectures, and glam events. This year, Hoyo de Monterrey was honored during the opening night in the Wood & Tobacco Warehouse, a newly renovated structure along Havana's waterfront, with Hoyo de Monterrey Reserva Cosecha 2012 revealed to the attendees. Cuaba had a special showcase during the cigar rollers dinner two days later. During this exciting week, hotels and restau- rants are all bursting with cigar smokers and gos- sip flies in the Cuban wind as to which celebrities will attend the gala dinner. For the distributors and retailers, it can be an intense week of meetings and presentations, as for any trade show, but for the consumers it is the perfect time to see behind the scenes and visit plantations and factories. The epitome of the week is traditionally the gala dinner on the last night. This year, it was dedicated to Cohiba and almost saw fighting for the expensively priced tickets. Decked in gold and black, the ballroom of the convention center was stunning and buzzing with the conversation (and heavy smoke) of more than 600 guests. After en- tertainment by Grammy-award winner Chucho Valdèz and several high-quality shows, guests enjoyed the traditional auction of special Haba- nos humidors, which raises money for the Cuban health system. ProCigar - goodie box of cigars

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