Closing Gala Dedicated to Montecristo’s 80th Anniversary


The night was embellished by U.S. model, actress, singer and businesswoman Paris Hilton, top model Naomi Campbell, Indian actor Babir Bedi, and other international socialites. A number of major musicians from the turf brought the 2015 edition of the Habano Festival to a close, an event that featured presentations, launches of new vitolas, pairings with drinks, contests, visits to tobacco plantations in Vuelta Abajo and to the H. Upmann and La Corona cigar factories.

The chance to puff on the Montecristo 80 Aniversario vitola (ring gauge 55 x 165 mm long) was no doubt one of the most anticipated moments of a night that was, as a matter of fact, dedicated to this larger-than-life brand founded in 1935. This edition of 30,000 units was presented in an exclusively designed box of 20 habanos each that boast a gilt-finished band just for the occasion.

Completely rolled by hand with long filler and following a thorough selection of exquisite leaves for binder and wrapper from the finest tobacco plantations of Vuelta Abajo* (Pinar del Río*), the Montecristo 80 Aniversario vitola shows off special sizes unseen in any other product out of the Habanos S.A.’s regular portfolio. This one-and-only vitola, with special blend and strength, has been designed to please smokers keen on intense tastes.

Just another highlight of the night was the tradition grand auction of humidors that managed to reel in over $740,000, an amount full funneled into Cuba’s healthcare system. The pieces that went off under the gavel consisted of half a dozen unique lots from the Cohiba, Montecristo, Partagás, Romeo y Julieta, Hoyo de Monterrey and H. Upmann brands.

During the gala, businesspeople with outstanding outcomes in the course of 2014 in the realm of habanos were recognized. The Habanos Award in the Communications category went to lecturer and contributing writer for Smoke and Tobacco Journal, Gary Heathcott. Habanos distributor in Cyprus, George Fereos, won the same award in the Business category, while Rogelio Ortúzar, a man with over 40 years devoted to growing the world’s best tobacco, walked off with the Habanos Award in the Production category.

Brazil’s Walter Saens Rodríguez Neto was the winner of the 14th International Habanosommelier Contest. Cuba’s Andres Piñon and Lucas Tramontana, from the UK, finished in second and third places, respectively. For his part, Kuwait’s Ali Alrami managed to get the longest burning ash in one of the Habano Festival’s most luring competitions of all.