Robaina's

Robaina's
Robaina's plantation

Friday, 3 July 2020

The Old Partagas Factory Has Collapsed (Havana) June 2020

                   For those of you who don't already know, a little piece of history has collapsed recently. The original Partagas Cigar Factory began it's journey in 1860 but was shut down and moved to a different location in 2013 due to the deterioration of the building and the hazardous conditions it created for the workers. There was talk of turning the space into the new Tobacco Museum a few years ago and recently rumours were abound about it becoming another Hotel. However, nothing was done, now they will be forced to decide what to do.
                 The important thing is that anyone who was working in the store below at the time is safe. The factory may have closed but the store continued to operate and was doing so even now during this Corona Virus catastrophe. The joy that this place has given myself and many others and the memories it holds is immeasurable. The store will be moving in the near future to what looks like a space in front of Parque Albear facing El Floridita & Casa del Ron y del Tabaco (Calle Obispo #2). It's a nice location but I have no idea what is within the space or what provisions will be made.
                 The first chapter of the story of La Casa del Habano Partagas has ended and so far it's been a beautiful story. Let's turn the page and begin the next chapter of this story. Let's create new memories and fill the pages with colourful script. It may not be the same but after all, it's the people that make place, not the other way around. Partagas has always had wonderful people working for her and that has never changed. I thought we would take a walk along memory lane and show you some of the people that have worked there through the years. I know I missed a few people, I apologize for that.













2004



2004


2005










2005


2006


2006


2009


 2012


2012


2013



2013


2014


2014


2015



2015


2016


2019


2020



Saturday, 20 June 2020

El Corojo (Pinar del Rio) another important tobacco growing area

                  The area of El Corojo belongs to the municipality of San Luís, it's located approximately 3 kilometers from the "las Cuchillas de Barbacoa" farm (where the late Alejandro Robaina Family Estate is located), 2-3 kilometers south of the town of San Luis. There has been very little written about this area that's known for it's wrapper leaf. However, much has been written about the 'Corojo' strain of tobacco leaf that's widely used in the area of San Luis & San Juan y Martinez. The Corojo strain was created at the famous El Corojo plantation owned by the Rodriguez family back in the early part of the last century. I'm not sure if the farm was actually located within the El Corojo area, what I have read was that it was located within the municipality of San Luis. The farm got its name from a palm tree that Rodriguez found growing on the plantation and all over the area. This part of the country was developed for tobacco growing back in the middle of the 19th century when the industry expanded.
                   There isn't much written about this part of Pinar del Rio except for geography. I wish I could tell you something about cigars produced from farms in this area but I can't. It isn't visited frequently and the tobacco growers I've encountered simply don't care to. But times are changing....El Corojo can now boast about having 2 'Hombre Habanos' within it's small confines. This year's winner for the award was Servilio Jesús Córdova (for Producción) and Armando Miguel Padrón won in 2008 (also for Producción), both their farms are located in the El Corojo area. I believe that someone will be producing some cigars soon....just to pass around to visitors. I Hope So.
                   It's not easy getting around El Corojo, most of the roads are not paved and could be quite hazardous during or just after a heavy rainfall. I've only been here several times but intend to visit more often in the future. The pictures I've posted were taken at different times and different seasons.




















Many of the growers in the 'El Corojo' area come to get their tobacco plants here after they grow to a few inches



















Alexis Benítez Toledo, nominated for Hombre Habano in 2012


Armando Miguel Padrón won Hombre Habano in 2008


Servilio Jesús Córdova won the current Hombre Habano for 2020