Cigars from seedlings to curing, to fermentation, to rolling, and box making have all been covered. This month’s chapter of Nick Perdomo’s Guide to Tobacco Farming sorting and packaging completes the series. Readers who’ve been following the series from the beginning should now have a very consummate understanding of the tobacco growing and cigar making process. In this final installation, Nick describes the process of color sorting and packaging. As you will see, it’s more than just selecting 20 cigars and sealing them in a box.
This month Nick Perdomo has plenty to talk about. Starting with how Tabacalera Perdomo rolls big ring cigars like their 6″ x 60 Habano Gordo, and the importance of draw testing cigars, as well as other methods the factory uses to ensure quality control. Nick also explains the wrapper stripping and sorting procedure that ensues before the cigars are rolled. Plus, you’ll learn why they final age the tobaccos in Bourbon barrels, and get a “virtual tour” of their aging room, where the cigars rest until they’re ready to be packaged. To get the whole story, click here.
This month Nick Perdomo continues his factory tour by describing how both natural and maduro wrapper leaves are fermented. Sun Grown wrappers are fermented at lower temperatures than filler, while Maduro wrappers are fermented at higher temperatures. Nick also gives props to the managers who oversee production, which includes the bunching and rolling phase, making “Cuban wheels,” and several rounds of quality control inspection. Additionally, readers will get to see how Perdomo rolls their unique-looking, artillery-shaped Torpedoes.
This month Nick Perdomo takes us a few steps closer to making consistently flavorful cigars as he describes how the tobacco is graded, classified, selected, and stripped before baling. The leaf classification process is among the most important stages, because it’s the only way to ensure that every Perdomo blend is made with the exact same tobaccos every time. Classification includes the leaf size, type, and quality. The leaves are then ready for the stripping process (removal of the central vein), followed by drying, then placed into bales under pressure where they will continue to age.
In this chapter, we’ll move on to the next stage where we slowly ferment the tobaccos using a process called “natural fermentation.”
Nick Perdomo explains the laborious, yet critical tobacco curing and fermentation process. Enter the curing barn where the newly-harvested tobacco leaves are separated by type and tied into bunches (or “hands”) for drying. When the leaves are ready, they are made into pilones, or “piles” for their first fermentation. Heat in the pilon is carefully monitored until the hands reach optimum temperature, and though there’s much more to do before they become cigars, the leaves are just getting warmed up.
This month, Nick Perdomo describes in precise detail what it takes to produce the richest tasting tobacco plants. Like most things, it’s not as easy as it looks, nor is it cheap; but it you do it right, the rewards are priceless. Working with cooperation with the weather, using some old school smarts, a little modern technology, and excellent timing, every decision is critical for producing a harvest that’s worthy of becoming premium handmade cigars.
Nick Perdomo continues his series on tobacco farming in Nicaragua. In this month’s chapter, he describes some of the old and new methods Perdomo Cigars uses to ensure their seedlings grow into strong, healthy tobacco plants with leaves that are rich in flavor. From using oxen for plowing, to high-tech computers for soil analysis, and state-of-the-art planting machines, Nick says,” We apply the older standards…but if new techniques can help us do things better, I’m all over it.”
Estelí, Nicaragua: 4:45 AM. The air is crisp, the sky clear, and the sun has just begun to reveal itself. Nick Perdomo Jr. takes in the breathtaking view of the horizon as he walks through one of his tobacco fields. Imbued with pastel shades of blue, grey and pink, the cloud cover hangs over the lower part of the mountains like a long silky blanket just barely touching the valley below. It’s the middle of the tobacco growing season, and Nick has come out to see how his beautiful, rich tobacco plants are doing…