Climate differences and Cigars

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Geography and climate can have a great effect on plants and leaves and how they taste when they are fermented and rolled. Every sort of tobacco grown in different parts of the world ends up taking on characteristics of the soil, climate and rainfall.

This is called terroir. The term terroir refers to soil composition, sun exposure, rain and fluctuations in temperature. It is most referred to for its impact in wine making, but the same can be said in tobacco.

In Nicaragua alone (images), you have four different regions that grow tobacco.

You can take the same seed and plant it in those four different regions and get a different flavor profile. 

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You have Jalapa, which is in the mountains on the Honduran border where they grow a lot of wrapper leaves. Then down the street you have Condega, where they grow a lot of binder and filler. Next you have Esteli, where filler tobacco is mostly grown. Finally, you have Ometepe, which is an island in the middle of Nicaragua with one active and one inactive volcano, and it grows tobacco like no other place in the world. The biggest mistake you can make is the generalization that one country has one dominant flavor of tobacco. Yes, regions can be well known for quality by a specific flavor, but that does not mean that is all they solely produce.

What Does Country of Origin Really Mean?

When a cigar is “made in” a specific country, that means it is rolled and produced in that country. The factory is located in that country, and while it will have tobacco from that specific country in it, that does not mean that all the tobacco comes from that same country. With the exception of Cuba, which are puro cigars, meaning all of the tobacco comes from one country (Cuba), most cigars you have the opportunity to purchase include tobacco from many different regions all over the world. That is what makes cigars from regions outside of Cuba great; they have a smorgasbord of tobaccos to vary a blend’s flavors and strengths.

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