Extinct Cuban Pinar del Rio 1941 Tobacco Now Grown in Costa Rica
In 1941, a revolutionary new strain of tobacco was developed by Cuban Land, the island's eminent tobacco research facility. First introduced in the growing region it was named after, Pinar del Rio 1941 became the archetype for tobacco from that region for two decades. Some of the most important leaf suppliers to the major pre-Embargo Cuban cigar makers grew and replicated it on their Pinar del Rio farmland, including Jacinto Argudin, Luis Pedreira, Daniel Rodriguez, and Elio Junco. Soon, it became especially valued by experienced smokers worldwide. Though one of the fullest-bodied of Cuban tobaccos, its smooth power lacked the bite and harshness on the palate of Castro's product. Pinar del Rio 1941 leaf was also noted for its depth and complexity, as well as superior burning properties.
In the 1960s, Castro dismantled Cuban Land and other tobacco research for several years, reassigning the island's former tobacco researchers to the cultivation of sugar for Cold War Russia. The moratorium on Cuban genetic research resulted in neglect for breeding stocks ... these tobaccos from Cuba's Golden Age of Cigars eventually disappeared, including the legendary Pinar del Rio 1941.
But now, Tabacos de la Cordillera has successfully grown, harvested, and processed tobacco once again from these "extinct" Pinar del Rio 1941 Cuban seeds. The Costa Rican company is currently rolling the first cigars from this Cuban leaf, which is available nowhere else in the industry.
According to company director and tobacco geneticist John Vogel, "This tobacco will produce 20,000 limited-release premium cigars. It is the first of Tabacos de la Cordillera's new flagship line of cigars, all from rare pre-Embargo Cuban seeds."
"Our Pinar del Rio 1941 tobacco is unique in two ways: First, it grows from seeds from the very same Cuban Land parent breeding stock ... I received these seeds directly from colleagues in the scientific community, who were former Cuban Land researchers. The tobacco is purely Cuban in origin; Tabacos de la Cordillera's current products, and virtually all other brands, contain tobacco from Cuban-derived seeds, e.g., Cuban-seed Connecticut, Indonesian, or Dominican Olor strains.
"Secondly, the cigars rolled from this new tobacco ... they'll also be named "Pinar del Rio 1941" ... will contain only Pinar del Rio 1941 tobacco, from different primings (levels) on the plants. The cigars will not be blended with tobaccos from different countries, regions, or even farms. Thus, these cigars are the 'purest of puros."
Pinar del Rio 1941 cigars will be available in June/July of this year, in the four most popular sizes: Churchill, Corona, Robusto, and Torpedo. Supplies will be limited. The cigars will appear first on the company's exclusive factory-authorized Internet site
Friday, January 21, 2005