Today we continue coverage of Procigar 2023, the Dominican Cigar Festival. This event took place in Santiago de los Caballeros in the Dominican Republic. Procigar 2023 was split between two cities: La Romana (February 19-21, 2023) and Santiago (February 21-25, 2023). Today we take a look at day three of Procigar in Santiago. For further details on the festival, see our pre-game report.
Day three (February 22nd) in Santiago was another day of factory/farm tours followed by some seminars and one of the signature gala events of the festival, The White Dinner. On each of the factory/farm tour days, participants can pick one tour to go on. For day two I was on the La Flor Dominicana factory and farm tour. La Flor Dominicana is such a unique company. Our hosts for the farm and factory tour were Litto Gomez and his sons, Tony, and Litto Jr.
Again, I have to mention the bus pickup at the hotel. The Gomez’s were there greeting and helping folks. As I mentioned in a previous article, these are times I truly enjoy.
The first stop of the trip was the La Canela farm. The Gomez family has been farming since 1997 when they made the decision they wanted to control the tobaccos that went into the blends. This was my second trip to La Canela – which is located in the beautiful Cibao Valley – and it certainly did not disappoint.
Upon arriving at the farm, there was a welcome reception where the horses are. As I mentioned yesterday, the experience component of these tours is a theme that is getting more and more emphasized with Procigar activities. Seeing the horses in action is just one of the little things that solidify this experiential component.
While there was an experiential component, we also got to tour the farm.
Here we see some shade-grown Criollo ’99. These are going to become wrapper leaves. It’s grown under shade (cheesecloth) so the leaves will be thinner and easier to use as wrappers.
After the farm, it was on to Tabacalera La Flor. Like the farm tour, there was a emphasis on the experiential. It was highlighted by an incredible lunch complete with Latin music. Litto Gomez has a love of Latin dance, and takes advantage of the opportunity to show his skills.
Very simply put, La Flor Dominicana pulls out all of the stops when it comes to lunch. Food posts are rarely put in our Cigar Coop coverage (we save for social media). But this feast was too good not to mention in this article. There are two videos included. The first video focuses on the preparations.
The second focuses on the final menu products.
The tour started in the fermentation room where we looked at lots of pilons. The tobacco is packed here and it naturally generates heat, thus triggering the fermentation progress. After a while, the leaves are rotated to prevent overheating.
The La Flor Dominicana rolling room (la galera) is almost set up in the round. It’s one of the most unique rolling rooms I’ve ever seen. For those wondering, La Flor Dominicana’s pairs were at full capacity.
We were in for a treat as they were rolling the La Flor Dominicana Salomon Unico. La Flor Dominicana is known for its artisanal craftmanship on its cigars. With the Salomon Unico, various wrappers are essentially used to form an artistic design on the company’s signature 7 x 64 salomon vitola. For the cigars being rolled, there was an image of what appears to be an exotic dancer put on the wrapper.
When we got into the packing room, we got to see the special Tonight Tonight humidor being donated to the Procigar auction that took place the following day of the visit to La Flor. It features a never before released 44 x 7 size of the blend that has been tweaked for more power and flavor. There are 100 of these cigars encased in an original illuminating humidor that was both designed and manufactured by La Flor Dominicana.
Following the visit to La Flor Dominicana, the penultimate gala of the week was the White Party. This is one of the signature events of each of Procigar. The famous White Party took take place at Santiago’s Monumento a los Héroes de la Restauración. This is the only time of the year the Monument is opened up to a private event.
Attendees received a special cigar box and art piece designed by the artist Angurria and manufactured by International Packaging.
The cigars contained in the boxes were:
PDR Cigars: El Vinyet Cuvee Special Churchill
Tabacalera La Alianza: EP Carrillo Reserva Churchill Especial 7
Quesada Cigars: Casa Magna Connecticut Toro
La Flor Dominicana: Capitulo II
Tabacalera de García: VegaFina 1998 VF54
Tabadom Holding: Davidoff Gran Cru
General Cigar Dominicana: Flint Knoll Macanudo
Tabacalera A. Fuente: A.F. Don Carlos II Double Robusto
De Los Reyes Cigars: Saga Solaz Corona
La Aurora: Preferidos 1903 Platinum
Tabacalera Palma: La Galera Imperial Jade
A couple of points on the White Party: Once again, I was really pleased to see additional seating added to a Procigar gala event. In addition, the music which at times has been quite loud at these events was lowered at the White Party – making conversations easier.
The White Party would bring a close to day three of the Santiago portion of the Procigar Festival. My report on day four follows and that’s the day that brings Procigar 2023 to a close.
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop
Originally posted on March 1, 2023 @ 9:18 am