On the Way to Vueltabajo

PI­NAR DEL RIO CITY IS BASED ON TO­BACCO PLAN­TA­TIONS. THIS LAND CEL­E­BRATED ITS 150TH AN­NIVER­SARY LAST YEAR AND ITS SO­CIO-ECO­NOMIC DY­NAM­ICS ARE BACKED UP BY TO­BACCO GROW­ING, SINCE HARD­WORK­ING TO­BACCO PLANTERS SET­TLED DOWN ON THE BANKS OF THE GUAMA RIVER AND

Excelencias from the Caribbean & the Americas - - CONTENTS - BY / JUAN CAR­LOS RO­DRÍGUEZ, PRES­I­DENT OF THE PI­NAR DEL RIO HIS­TO­RI­ANS UNION) PHO­TOS / FERVAL / ALVITE

Vueltabajo is a his­toric-cul­tural re­gion. It is the land of the best to­bacco on the face of the earth. Dili­gent to­bacco grow­ers cul­ti­vate the pre­cious leaf, a one-of-a-kind trea­sure be­cause of its qual­ity, com­bustibil­ity, taste and aroma, the es­sen­tial raw ma­te­rial for cigars.

Pi­nar del Rio, the cap­i­tal of Vueltabajo, cel­e­brated in 2017 the 150th an­niver­sary of the city ti­tle award­ing, given by the Queen of Spain El­iz­a­beth II on Septem­ber 10, 1867, be­cause of the con­tri­bu­tions re­ceived from to­bacco-re­lated ac­tiv­i­ties and world­wide fame of Ha­banos, made with leaves from to­bacco plan­ta­tions in San Juan y Martinez, San Luis, Pi­nar del Rio and Con­so­la­cion del Sur.

The brown to­bacco conquered Europe with the en­chant­ment of its smoke rings and the de­mand of these ac­claimed Ha­banos. Ha­banos are so purely Cuban that they stand for sym­bols of our cul­ture and our na­tion's her­itage.

Why is Vueltabajo so spe­cial that it has been la­beled as the land of the best to­bacco in the world? Its po­ten­tial is but­tressed by the un­re­peat­able com­bi­na­tion of four key el­e­ments:

• The soil at the south prairie is fer­til­ized and ir­ri­gated by the essence of ma­jes­tic Guaniguanico Hill, from Rio Hondo to Cuyaguateje.

• the cli­mate pro­vides a har­mo­nious sta­bil­ity in to­bacco plan­ta­tions, with os­cil­lat­ing and com­bined tem­per­a­tures.

• the va­ri­ety of qual­ity and re­sis­tance, which give birth to the aro­matic leaf, by ap­ply­ing sci­ence, from San Juan y Martinez's Ex­per­i­men­tal Sta­tion.

• women and men, this de­ci­sion-mak­ing en­tity blessed with olden cul­ture of work and ex­pe­ri­ences, ca­pa­ble of feel­ing how plants and leaves grow, as com­mented by Mr. Ale­jan­dro Robaina, in to­bacco plan­ta­tions cov­ered by cheese­cloth, which pro­vide wrap­pers touched by the prodi­gious hands of

Pi­nar del Rio city sits on to­bacco plan­ta­tions. It is sur­rounded by an in­ter­na­tion­ally-renowned and tra­di­tional patch of to­bacco plan­ta­tions

women as part of a metic­u­lous and in­tense mak­ing process.

Pi­nar del Rio city's so­cio-eco­nomic dy­nam­ics are backed up by to­bacco grow­ing. Hard­work­ing to­bacco grow­ers set­tled down on the banks of the Guama River and turned the set­tle­ment into a dis­tin­guished eco­nomic cen­ter. Such fa­mous to­bacco plan­ta­tions as Las Taironas, Las Deli­cias, La Cam­pana, Vil­lamil, San Ma­teo, Rio Feo, El Can­gre, be­came highly-de­manded cen­ters fo­cused on the mak­ing of Ha­banos.

Cap­i­tals and in­ter­ests came to­gether to de­velop the West Rail­road, from Ha­vana to Pi­nar del Rio (18571894). It was an iron road for to­bacco, in which the Mar­quis of Pi­nar del Rio, the Mar­quis of Las Taironas, such fam­i­lies as the Partagás, the Pe­droso and the Ci­fuentes, poured their cap­i­tals into it to take the cargo di­rectly to Ha­vana-based fac­to­ries.

Pi­nar del Rio city sits on to­bacco plan­ta­tions. It is sur­rounded by an in­ter­na­tion­ally-renowned and tra­di­tional group of to­bacco plan­ta­tions. The Guash Palace, built at El Conuco plan­ta­tion, is the ut­most prop­erty. Of­fi­cial reg­u­la­tions were is­sued by the City Hall to stop the sow­ing in the ur­ban cen­ter in the early 20th cen­tury.

Vueltabajo's most orig­i­nal drink, Guayabita del Pi­nar, has strong ties with this grow­ing. When go­ing into the to­bacco plan­ta­tions in cold morn­ings, planters used to drink it.

As in pre­vi­ous edi­tions, the up­com­ing Ha­bano Fes­ti­val will keep the grand tours around the to­bacco plan­ta­tions of Vueltabajo, which is like a jour­ney into the ori­gins of Ha­banos. It's highly in­ter­est­ing for vis­i­tors to take a closer look at how to­bacco leaves –the ones used for the filler, binder and wrap­per lay­ers that ul­ti­mately make up any Ha­bano- are grown and har­vested.

Dur­ing the vis­its, those at­tend­ing the Ha­bano Fes­ti­val learn about the se­lec­tion and strip­ping process leaves must en­dure, as well as about a few se­crets at the ex­per­i­men­tal sta­tion, an en­tity that guar­an­tees and safe­guards the qual­ity of seeds of ev­ery Cuban black to­bacco species.

What's more, vis­i­tors can feast eyes on jaw-drop­ping scenery dom­i­nated by to­bacco plan­ta­tions and cur­ing barns, by early-bird planters and work­shops.

An aroma and ten­der green har­vest time pre­cedes the no­ble Ha­bano, which boasts Vueltabajo's binder and goes out to en­thrall the world, with plenty of Cuban iden­tity, a sym­bol and syn­the­sis of the to­bacco grow­ers' hard­work­ing cul­ture.

This is a launch that marks the con­tin­u­a­tion of the new line with Madura (ripe) wrap­per within the brand, which was un­veiled for the first time back in 2015 with the Maduro No. 1 (ring gauge 52 x 130mm long), ex­clu­sively de­signed for La Casa del Ha­bano. This time around, the line is en­hanced by the ad­di­tion of two new vitolas that go in synch with to­day's trends: Maduro No. 2 (ring gauge 55 x 120mm long) and Maduro 3 (ring gauge 50 x 145mm long). Both give smok­ers the taste and in­ten­sity of Partagás, thanks to this spe­cial wrap­per rolled with the finest leaves from the up­per part of shade-grown to­bacco plants which, as a mat­ter of fact, en­dured an ad­di­tional fer­men­ta­tion process that guar­an­tees in­tense color and tex­ture –the ideal com­ple­ments to the line's sig­na­ture strong-tast­ing blend.

All Ha­banos are “to­tally hand­made with long filler”, with se­lect leaves from Vuelta Abajo* –the world's best to­bacco re­gion– in the prov­ince of Pi­nar del Río*, Cuba*.

Maduro No. 1, Maduro No. 2 and Maduro No. 3 fea­ture the prod­uct's ren­o­vated de­sign, with bofe­ton and cos­tero, plus a rib­bon that comes to­gether with the brand's tra­di­tional band, in the same color and with the same name these vitolas have.

BRAND Partagás COM­MER­CIAL NAME Maduro No. 1 FAC­TORY SIZE Maduro No. 1 SIZES Ring Gauge 52 x 130 mm long PRE­SEN­TA­TION 25-unit Semi Boite Na­ture (SBN) box

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