Today, eleven of the world’s top cigars are manufactured in Santiago. Situated two hours north of Santo Domingo, the city of Santiago is the home of the country’s Procigar Festival, an annual event that brings together top-name cigar smokers, producers and representatives of American and European tobacco companies.
D.R. Cigars Among the Top 11 in the World
According to the American magazine “Cigar Aficionado” 11 Dominican-made cigars appear in the publication’s 2013 list of the world’s top 25 best brands.
The list includes such top cigars as the Nicaragua Toro Davidoff, Romeo by Romeo y Julieta Toro en Tubo, Arturo Fuente Don Carlos No. 2, and Gurkha 125th Anniversary XO.
The list also mentions the “Fuente OpusX Super Belicoso,” “La Flor Dominicana Oro Chisel,” Fernando Leon Family Reserve Belicoso, Nat Sherman Timeless Collection Divino and the “La Palina Classic Toro, all manufactured in Santiago. In order to make their final selection, the judges tested more than 700 cigars.
The Dominican Republic today produces 44% of the best cigars in the world, according to Cigar Aficionado, while over 90% of the cigar factories are situated around the fertile lands of Santiago.
The Procigar Festival annually brings together marketing representatives, producers and cigar aficionados, and offers those interested the opportunity to visit the main factories where many of these famous cigars are produced. At the same time, Festival participants will also discover and truly enjoy the beauty of Dominican music, culture and hospitality.
Festival activities will also include a popular golf tournament in the Teeth of the Dog Golf Course, currently on the list of the 100 best golf courses in the world. The Teeth of the Dog is situated in the internationally recognized “Casa de Campo” resort, in the country’s eastern region.
The Procigar Festival also brings together representatives from trade publications, such as Cigar Aficionado, Smoke & Smokeshop, Tobacconist, Cigar Magazine, European Cigar Journal, Cigar Clan, Cigar Report, Cigar Ambassador, L’Amateur Du Cigarre, “La Boutique de El Fumador,” Epicur and Florida Cigar Snob.
More than 90,000 hectares of tobacco are cultivated in the rich and fertile lands, while 80% of all cigar production is carried out in this important northern region city.
There’s a Whole Culture Surrounding Tobacco Production in the D.R.
Cigar smoking, aside from the joy it brings to smokers, is part of an entire culture that is tied to fine liquors, such as premium Dominican rums. Quality cigars are made by hand, and this particular art is passed down from generation to generation.
Famous international figures, such as John F. Kennedy and Winston Churchill, basketball superstar Michael Jordan, actors Arnold Schwarzenegger, Hugh Laurie and Andy Garcia are true cigar aficionados. Also, former U.S. President Bill Clinton, an avid cigar smoker, has frequently visited the “Casa de Campo” resort in La Romana.