Nicaragua’s reputation is the result of the remarkable climate and soil of the three main tobacco growing areas in the country – Esteli, Condega, and Jalapa. Each plays an integral role in the formation of Ernesto’s unique blends.
Not far from the Honduran border, the towns of Esteli and Condega are home to the majority of cigar production in the country. Surrounded by some of the most fertile land in Central America, these towns boast lush fields of Cuban-seed tobacco. Esteli’s black soil produces a heavy, full-flavored dark leaf that is rich with full aromas, body and flavor. Condega’s tobacco is typically sun-grown and used primarily for filler and binders.
Northeast of Esteli and Condega lies the Jalapa Valley, whose remoteness is mitigated by the extraordinary tobacco it produces. The naturally-occurring minerals in the soil give the tobacco here an earthy-sweet flavor.
In the wake of the U.S. trade embargo with Cuba in the 1960’s, the cigar industry scrambled to find wrapper alternatives to Cuban tobacco. For the Perez-Carrillo family, that search ended in Ecuador.
Home to more than 30 active volcanoes, Ecuador’s ashy eruptions may not bode well for tourism, but they do benefit the tobacco trade. The volcanic ash helps create an intensely fertile soil, ripe for growing a premium tobacco leaf.
Ecuador’s constant cloud cover has led many to call the country’s tobacco “cloud grown” as opposed to “shade grown.” This natural protection from the sun is what creates a thin but firm tobacco leaf that is flavorful, natural in color and smooth to the eyes and touch.
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