An all-consuming passion for cigars is the unsurpassed characteristic of Carlos Fuente, Sr. and Carlos Fuente, Jr., Chairman and President, respectively, of the Dominican Republic based Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia., manufacturers of internationally renowned Arturo Fuente handmade cigars, the Fuente Fuente Opus X brand and the newly introduced Premium Dominicana line of cigars featured this month.
Adversity, in the form of embargoes, revolutions and four major fires, has never been able to negatively affect their passion. Rather, it has strengthened their resolve to produce the world's finest cigars. The Fuente family's tobacco roots go back to the old world Cuba of the 1800's. Arturo Fuente learned the art of cultivating tobacco and manufacturing handmade cigars from his father in Cuba. His son, Carlos, Sr., was virtually born into the cigar business in as much as his first home served as the Fuente cigar factory in Tampa. Carlos, Sr., worked at the factory everyday after school learning how to blend tobaccos and the ritual of rolling cigars by hand.
Not long after Carlos Sr. acquired the business from his father, Carlos Jr. was born and his early life was a mirror image of his father's life. He, too, was born in the family's home/factory. Each day, after school, he, too, worked at cigar blending and making cigars by hand. When producing cigars by hand became a lost art in Tampa, Carlos Sr. opened a factory in Nicaragua, but that fledging operation was burned to the ground by the rebel Sandanistas. Later, a second factory in Honduras was also demolished by fire.
In 1980 the Fuentes opened their first factory in the Dominican Republic with seven employees. The superior quality of the Arturo Fuente brand resulted in quickly establishing a loyal core of cigar customers which necessitated the building of a second factory. Today the Fuente family has over 1800 employees in four factories in Santiago, Dominican Republic. The Arturo Fuente brand is the most sought-after premium cigar in America.
The Premium Dominicana line, one of the Fuente Family’s newest editions, has received high marks from Cigar Aficionado, Smoke Magazine and numerous other industry publications. It is handmade in Santiago, Dominican Republic and offered in a corona, churchill, double corona, lonsdale, robusto and toro, the later two of which you will have the pleasure of sampling yourself this month. For more information about the Fuente family of cigars, visit their web site which does not currently contain information on the Premium Dominicana line at www.cigarfamily.com.