Friday is the last day of Puro Sabor. Like the other mornings, the program remains unchanged with a visit to a plantation and a factory. After visiting several fincas, we decided to split the possibilities for knowledge and depth. So part of the team went to Condega, another area of Nicaraguas tobacco cultivation and others stopped at Procesadora de Nicaragua S.A. (PROCENICSA), an important company of the Oliva family (no affiliation with the cigar manufacturer with the same name) that for generations, that cultivates and processes tobacco, not only Nicaraguan, and then sell it to different manufacturing companies. The warehouses for sorting the bales of tobacco, as well as the processing, classification and desparillo rooms are of considerable size. It is in this factory that the technique of wetting the leaves on huge mechanized wheels was invented, whose motion, together with the lukewarm water nebulization in the room, guarantees a uniform humidification of the tobacco while saving time.
Afterwards, those who stayed in Estelì stopped at Nica Sueño, the factory where the cigars from RoMa Craft and other brands are made. Here we were welcomed by Mike Rosales and Skip Martin, the owners of the brand and factory. The latter has guided us through the factory, where we counted twenty torcedores plus other workers for the remaining production steps. Exclusively for CigarsLover, Mike Rosales showed us the new Casa de Torres (a small doble figurado) that will be released in February exclusively for the German market.
At the same time, part of us has moved to Condega, to visit the fields of this area, which are never included in the tours from Puro Sabor. Condega is a not as well-known of a locality than Estelì, but due to its microclimate high quality wrapper leaves are cultivated in this area.
Lunch was held at a tabacco house, where the curing process of the collected leaves takes place. After the usual Nicaraguan lunch (consisting of a mixed course of meat and vegetables), Carlito Fuente entered, among the astonished eyes of many, who, as already reported here, announced that he will return to Nicaragua, by building a factory. At that exact moment, we felt that we were part of an historical moment for Nicaragua, because with the arrival of Fuente in the land of volcanoes, many dynamics and balances could shift.
In the afternoon, despite the festival’s schedule, we gladly accepted Nestor Plasencia’s invitation to visit his factory together with a small group. The Plasencia company is one of the largest and most organized we have seen. All the work rooms are placed at the perimeter of a large central cloister around which, in addition to the manufacturing and administrative offices, is also a small lounge and a conference room, in which there is a wall panel with the logo of the brand. The logo is made by placing cigars side by side, so as to form, with the heads of the cigar, the P and the name Plasencia. At the end of the tour, three volunteers were asked to blind taste some cigars, out of the lines they produce, and recognizing them: only one took home a ten-piece bundle of Alma del Campo. A little side note for lovers of Italian espresso: a great coffee is served at the Plasencia lounge, which is another reason to visit it!
The last evening of the festival, as usual, was reserved for the gala dinner, held at the Gran Fabrica Drew Estate. The atmosphere was cheerful and lively, even though it was also an opportunity to say goodbye and, for most, to meet again next year.
However, the spirit was kept high also after dinner, than the Latin American group that performed dragged the vast majority of participants, as well as producers, on to the dance floor. Because in Nicaragua it does not matter if you are a producer or a consumer: you are part of a collective embrace called Puro Sabor!