Life is a long journey, during which we learn many things. And there is always something new to discover, however much of an expert one is on a subject. The best way to expand one’s knowledge is to learn from the experts, from specialists who have been in the trade for many years and are passionate about their work. Those who wish to make strides in their understanding of the world of tobacco now have a new opportunity with the forthcoming course at the Cigar Institute of La Aurora Cigars, to be held on 13, 14 and 15 November.
As on previous occasions, this course will consist of both theoretical contents and practical knowledge. As part of the theory syllabus, course attendees will learn about the history of tobacco and its economic and social importance in the Dominican Republic, as well as the climates and cultivation zones in the Dominican Republic, the characteristics of the tobacco plant, how it grows and the processes the tobacco leaves go through before they reach the cigar.
In the practical part of the course, students of the Cigar Institute will be able to observe at first hand, among other things, the destalking of the filler. They will also learn about cigar making processes and how tobaccos are selected. After a tour of our factory facilities, they will learn how to make cigars, becoming master rollers for a day.
The next stage involves cigar tasting, when students will be shown how to detect the notes given by different types of cigar during smoking and to compare the sensory experience of smoking a fresh or an aged cigar. Furthermore, they will learn about which drinks pair best with the different classes of cigars.
The best teachers
To impart all this knowledge, the courses offered by the Cigar Institute benefit from the best teachers. The president of La Aurora Cigars, Guillermo León, heads the panel of experts who will enlighten the students of the Cigar Institute. He represents the fifth generation of his family in the world of tobacco and the third generation to manage the factory, making his knowledge of the business undoubtedly key in the courses of the Cigar Institute.
Daniel Nuñez, who graduated in agricultural engineering from the University of Texas (USA) and has held different positions at the Tobacco Institute, at Edgar Cullman and at General Cigars, will also be a teacher on the course. In his opinion, tobacco “has its own language” which he considers we must “learn to listen to and interpret”.
The other three teachers who will disseminate their knowledge on the course of the Cigar Institute are Juan B. Ventura, Manuel Inoa and Leoncio Cruz. Ventura graduated as an industrial engineer from the Católica Madre y Maestra Pontifical University, and he also holds a master’s degree in Business Administration. He is certified by Technicom and the Clemson University of Richmond, Virginia (USA) as an instructor of Statistical Process Control (SPC).
Manuel Inoa is the master blender of La Aurora. He is an industrial engineer with more than 31 years of experience in the world of premium cigars, having begun his career at General Cigars in the Dominican Republic. Finally, Leoncio Cruz, an agronomist and horticulturalist and a former researcher on the Black Tobacco programme of the Dominican Institute of Agricultural and Forestry Research (IDIAF), will teach the theoretical contents relating to tobacco cultivation, the certification of different black tobacco seeds, the tobacco fermentation process and the classification of tobacco for the filler, binder and wrapper, among other topics.