Every single Macanudo shares the same journey as the very first Macanudo cigar, which was handcrafted in 1968. It all begins before the tobacco seeds are planted. Our team of highly skilled agronomists start by preparing the soil – analyzing its pH and imparting special nutrients to ensure the ideal environment for each seed. Our agronomists are involved in every single aspect of cultivating the tobacco, from preparing the soil and selecting the seeds to overseeing their implantation in soil beds.
After we harvest the mature leaves, they undergo the air curing process, which takes place over about 30 days. Then the tobacco is hung in wooden sheds or barns, where the leaves are slowly dried to reduce their moisture content and release their natural sugars. During this time, the leaf color changes as well, from green to yellow to orange and, ultimately, to brown. Once removed from the sheds, the tobacco undergoes additional fermentation for up to 6 months, to deepen its aroma, flavor and color.
Macanudo’s wrapper tobacco is packed in bales left to rest and age for a minimum of two years. Once filler tobacco is fermented, part of the mid-stem is removed by hand and it is then packed in bales and placed into handcrafted tercios, which are bales made of royal palm bark. After aging for up to two years, the filler tobacco is packed into Dominican rum barrels where it continues to mature, taking on additional flavor nuances.
Before the central vein can be removed, the tobacco must be conditioned or re-humidified to the appropriate moisture level. The leaf must be very elastic in order to remove the mid-stem, or else it will be damaged. After the stem is removed, the arduous task of leaf selection begins. Performed by highly skilled artisans, each and every leaf is sorted based on the requirements of each Macanudo cigar, and also by size, texture, color and much more.
Once the selected leaves are blended according to each cigar’s recipe, they are bunched using a time-honored process called the entubar process. Each bunch is then covered with a binder leaf and placed into a mold to achieve its desired shape. The roller then applies the wrapper – carefully applying the leaf around the bunch and lastly applying the cap. Finally, we take an extra step the others don’t – we age our finished cigars in a cedar-lined room to further enhance their flavor.
Each Macanudo band must be applied in exactly the same place on each cigar. While this may sound easy, we can assure you, it’s not. When the band is applied, the cigars are placed into individual cellophane, metal or crystal tubes and put into boxes, which have been handcrafted in another part of our factory in Santiago, Dominican Republic.