Welcome back to our blog! Our next stop on our tour of Viñales Cuba by horse was a cigar plantation.
We arrived, Elle hopping off her terrifying beast and walked (or limped) over to greet the man lounging at a table outside a dusty Mars orange casa. This was the man responsible for an entire cigar plantation producing only the finest organic, sustainably sourced, environmentally friendly cigars… coming soon to a Waitrose near you (middle-class supermarket, if you’re from London you’ll get it!).
We sat down and introduced ourselves and he showed us how the cigars are made over a rum and honey with some mouth-watering freshly picked pineapple. He explained that cigar types depend not only on the strain of tobacco plant and soil, but on how high high up the tobacco plant the leaves are taken. The lower the leaf, the more heavy the flavour – Cohiba’s are from these low lying leaves.
When the cigar was rolled and ready the conversation took a weird turn.
“Would you like to smoke one?”
“No, thanks, I don’t smoke.”
“Go on..it’s beautiful. One won’t hurt.”
“No, I’m ok..”
“I’m not massively keen on the idea of smoking related diseases. My grandad smoked cigars and the fifth heart attack made me slightly wary.”
“Oh, that. *Lighting up* Yes, my father smokes cigars and they killed him. *Puff* Will probably do for me too.”
We spent the entirety of him and Rosie smoking cigars discussing how cigars and smoking kill you. We went into a lot of depth. Still, at least they’re tar free and far better than the preservative laden Cohibas we’d bought in Havana. Not to mention cheaper! They also cut out the midrib of the tobacco leaf which contains the most nicotine.
We’d highly recommend a cigar plantation tour if you’re in Viñales. It was interesting stuff and the plantation was incredibly peaceful. Sitting outside a tiny farm with nothing but the hum of insects and the hot sun warming you through is a great experience. Rosie also enjoyed the cigars.
Only a few more posts left from our trip around Cuba to go, tune in to our blog again next week for more photos, tips, and the final part of our stay in Viñales!