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No going far for this cigar

No going far for this cigar
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First Published: Mon, Jan 31 2011. 07 13 PM IST

Updated: Mon, Jan 31 2011. 07 13 PM IST
Arturo Fuente, the world-renowned cigar brand, is now available in India.
It was launched on Friday at The Taj Mahal Hotel in Delhi by Fazco Exim Pvt. Ltd, the official distributor of the brand in India. This also marks Arturo Fuente’s entry into the Asian market.
“India is the door to Asia. Indian people understand the meaning of a good life. It is a privilege for us to enter the Indian market,” says Joshua Meerapfel, the international representative of the family-owned brand.
Arturo Fuente Sr was the man who started it all in 1912. Farms in Cuba supplied the tobacco that was rolled at Tampa in the US. Things brightened as the market expanded but the US embargo on Cuban goods in the 1960s proved a setback. The firm then started importing tobacco from the Dominican Republic. The 1970s saw the brand moving production to Nicaragua, but the liaison was short-lived. Their factory was destroyed by the Sandinistas, forcing them to relocate to Honduras where, as luck would have it, the factory burnt down. Since then, Arturo Fuente cigars have been produced from the Dominican Republic, and the extreme caution and care that goes into the making of these cigars, each one of them handcrafted, has turned Arturo Fuente into the largest family-owned cigar business in the world.
“Aged tobacco is good tobacco,” says Meerapfel. “And a lot depends on the rollers too. Every single one of our rollers is trained for four years. We exercise extreme care at every step of the cigar-making process, be it planting, picking, drying or the final rolling of the cigar.”
This expertise has given Fuente cigars, such as the Opus X and the Hemingway, almost legendary status among aficionados.
Arturo Fuente employs over 500 torcedors or cigar rollers to produce over 24 million cigars a year. “We never rush the hands of time”, goes an old Fuente family maxim, and the present generation still swears by this.
“Growing tobacco is like raising children,” says Meerapfel. “Quite like kids, different cigars have different needs.”
Indeed.
The cigars cost between Rs 800 and Rs 3,000. To order, email kastros@hotmail.com, or call Manish Datt at 9811667788.
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First Published: Mon, Jan 31 2011. 07 13 PM IST