Dominican Cigars -
How They Are Made
The Dominican cigar-making process is a long one, taking from 2 to 3 years, depending on type and manufacturer.
Four months after a seed is planted the tobacco plant is ready for harvesting, or removal of the mature, ripe leaves.
The tobacco leaves are picked in 6 stages, from the bottom of the plant to the top.
These stages include:
libra de pie (the base)
uno y medio (section directly above the base) centro ligero (center of plant with thinnest leaves) centro fino (center of plant with mid-sized leaves) centro gordo (center of plant with thickest leaves) corona (top of plant or crown).
Following the harvest, several steps are completed before the leaves are ready for the cigar factory.
Step 1: Aging & Curing
Tobacco must be dried immediately following its harvest. The leaves are hung inside for 6 to 8
Step 2: First Fermentation
Once the leaves are dry, they are placed in piles and covered with burlap. This allows the remaining moisture to initiate the fermentation process, giving the leaves their brown color while lowering the tar and nicotine levels.
Step 3: Sorting
Following the fermentation process, the leaves are sorted according to color, size and texture. They are also flattened and moistened. Broken leaves are used for cigarettes.
Step 4: Second Fermentation
After leaves are sorted, a second 2-month fermentation process occurs to allow the tobacco leaves to reach ideal temperature and humidity.
After the final fermentation, the leaves are sent to the cigar factory to age for up to 2 years, depending on cigar type.
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