Vegueros: A Quality Tradition


26/02/2013

Alfredo Álvarez, director of the Francisco Donatien cigar factory where Habanos from the Vegueros brand are rolled, says the quality of its productions is owed, first of all, to the location the factory is nestled in, trapped within four tobacco regions: San Luis, Pinar del Rio, Consolacion del Sur and Guane, the sources of its supplies.

In this sense, he bodes “very good acclaim” for the new Vegueros to be sold soon because “the tobacco conformation and its thick ring gauge have been historically accepted due to their excellent burning.”

He doesn’t think twice to underscore that “puffing on a Vegueros is an excellence,” and he shores up his remarks with the opinions of tasters and the many trials the brand has endured, thus showing good burning and top-notch blend.

“Our products fit in with any kind of smoker,” he goes on to say. “The brand stands for the tobacco planters, so that explains the name Vegueros, a tribute to the region0’s planters.”

Over 76 percent of the factory’s payroll is made up of women, within a total workforce of 118 people. Around 70 percent of those workers are directly linked to the end production that includes a plan of over a million exportable cigars.

As proud as a Pinar del Rio native can be, Mr. Alvarez says that none of the factory’s vitolas has been turned out in the world market. “We follow optimal rigor in the factory and Habanos, S.A. keeps a close eye on the output. Our workers are aware of the responsibility they have with themselves, with the province and with the nation. This is a good staff well committed to its job.” 

When referring to other tools aimed at overseeing quality, he mentions a technical team that “is fully in charge of guaranteeing the right quality for those products.” They puff on a number of cigars every day, based on a selection of vitolas that are being produced, and they determine whether those Habanos meet the requirements of a Cuban premium product.

“Furthermore, 100 percent of the products are checked in the draw or burning machines. Our system doesn’t allow a single cigar to be shipped if the conditions are not right,” he says.

Last but not least, he reminds us that the factory is visited by over 300 tourists in a single day and adds that Canada, Italy, Spain and Germany are the top international markets for the Vegueros brand, though it’s elbowing its way into other countries as well.