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24/02/2010

The lavish green color of the tobacco plantations, the hardworking peasants and the breathtaking scenery of inland Pinar del Rio welcomed the crowd of delegates attending the 12th Habano Festival as they visited yesterday the fields of Cuba’s westernmost province.

Half a thousand delegates met with produces from the municipalities of San Juan y Martinez and San Luis, two portions of the land known as Vuelta Abajo, home to the world’s best black tobacco.

Right on the spot, visitors learned firsthand details on the delicate and painstaking process of tobacco growth. One of the biggest surprises of the daytrip –very much in sync with the event’s program- was the chance to chat with tobacco planter women.

Just another novelty in this year’s edition is the launch of the Julieta vitola, specially designed by Habanos S.A. as wink at today’s hands-on and sophisticated women and that will be officially unveiled during the event’s third night.

Even though in some process of the tobacco industry women are a majority, little more than a dozen of them are regular planters in San Juan y Martinez. And that certainly made the meeting far more interesting.

The much-anticipated field tour ended with a countryside lunch, traditional music and plenty of entertainment in the Viñales Valley, right at the base of the Prehistory Mural.

Puffing on a habano right at its birthplace, in at atmosphere filled with direct contact with producers and representatives of the Vuelta Abajo tobacco plantations, actually made the day for most of the visitors.

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