Exploring Cigar Country: La Aurora Cigars and Royal Agio Cigars

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    Francisco Baptista, Royal Agio Cigars

    Tobacco Business recently spoke with several manufacturers to put together this special editorial on the Dominican Republic’s growers and manufacturers. In you case you missed it, read part 1, part 2, and part 3.

    La Aurora Cigars La Aurora: A 115-Year-Old Passion
    La Aurora Cigars has been making cigars in the Dominican Republic for 115 years. Cigars aren’t just a business for the Leon family—making them is a tradition that dates back to 1903, when the business was launched by Eduardo Leon Jimenes.

    “I can say that I have been linked to the world of cigars practically my entire life because I have always seen the passion and love that my father and my uncles felt for this art,” comments Guillermo Leon, president of La Aurora Cigars. “I inherited and learned from them that passion and everything concerning this world, to the point that today tobacco is a fundamental part of my life.”

    La Aurora was the Dominican Republic’s first cigar company, and it has played a crucial role in creating and sustaining the country’s deep roots to its history with cigars. One of the great virtues of La Aurora Cigars is that during the course of its long history, it managed to maintain the same traditions surrounding the development of its cigars that it launched its business with over a century ago. Many of the company’s craftsmen have remained with the company for decades, and several generations of families have been employed by the company, something Leon considers to be a driving force behind the company’s longevity and success.

    In addition to family tradition, the indisputable quality of La Aurora’s cigars has made cigar enthusiasts seek out many of its highly rated cigars, like the La Aurora DNA, La Aurora 1495 and La Aurora Preferidos. While other companies have struggled with growing Dominican tobaccos that can be used in cigar wrappers, Leon’s father overcame this obstacle in the 1960s when he began growing tobacco for the company’s wrappers in the family’s farm located in the Dominican Republic town of Sabana del Puerto. Over the years, La Aurora has also used tobaccos grown here for fillers and binders in addition to wrappers. Today, it experiments with and researches different seeds to develop cigars with flavorful blends and tasty aromas.

    La Aurora Cigars

    Today, La Aurora also buys tobaccos from Nicaragua, Brazil, Peru and Africa to use with its Dominican tobacco for its many blends created by Manuel Iona, the company’s master blender. Iona has over 34 years of experience in the tobacco industry, 24 of those spent perfecting the art of blending while at La Aurora Cigars. After 115 years of business, the company has proven itself to be a key player in the Dominican tobacco industry, with know-how and skilled artisans putting the company and its products on the map.