Pinar del Río, Cuba, Jun 9. -Attracted by the fame of the Habanos cigars, hundreds of tourists tour tobacco plantations and cigar factories in this Cuban province, the birthplace of the best tobacco in the world.
While some prefer to visit the fields where the aromatic plant grows – under the sun or soft covers – others admire the dexterity of true masters of the tobacco industry.
The municipality of San Juan y Martinez, site of the legendary Hoyo de Monterrey plantation, is one of the places preferred by visitors from different continents.
Acquired in 1860 by Catalonian Jose Gener y Batet, the plantation grows the leaf that, since then, has been used for export.
Of special interest are the meetings with renowned farmers such as Pancho Guba and Hector Luis Priest, awarded with the Hombre Habano Cigar prize.
Among stalks of the crop the f reveals some of the old secrets that reflect the passion and constancy of forebears.
El Pinar plantation of Alejandro Robaina (deceased in 2010) continues in the tourism route of Cuba.
Very close to the crops is a museum that honors the farmer of Canary Island background, who shook the hands of politicians, filmmakers, famed musicians and became an ambassador of Cuban Habanos cigars.
In San Luis, the lands cultivated by the Robaina family again lived the concerns of harvest this year, one of the best in the past decade.
The ability to roll the cigars of known bands distinguishes workers of the Francisco Donatien Factory, located in the historic center of the city.
Persons from Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America have crossed the threshold of this factory.
Women are the mainstay in production, surpassing 60 percent of the work force.
The quality is checked and certified in each stage of the process, from its arrival as raw material to the finished Habano cigar, Francisco Gonzalez deputy director of the Hoyos de Monterrey and Trinity label industry told Prensa Latina.
Nearby, Guayabita del Pinar, the century-old manufacturer of an alcoholic beverage bearing similar name, also receives many visitors, who toast with this liquor, exclusive to eastern Cuba, after touring the place full of cedar barrels, where the beverage settles. (Prensa Latina)