I have been looking through some of the videos I filmed during my most recent trip to Cuba. Some of the footage shows the harvest taking place in Pinar del Rio and I thought some of you may find it interesting.
Although I visit Cuba at the same time every year it is still quite rare to see so much activity in the fields. The farmers are well skilled at waiting until precisely the right moment to begin picking the leaves and the exact date will vary from year to year depending on the vagaries of the Cuban weather.
As you can see on the video each leaf is picked by hand and, as only two or three leaves can be taken at a time and with days to wait between each picking, the harvesting of a single plant can take close to thirty days to complete.
Once they have picked the leaves they are transported to the Curing Barns (Casa de Tabaco) where they are sewn into pairs and left to turn from bright green to golden brown.
Watching these farmers hard at work serves as a clear reminder of how many different people are involved in the Cuban cigar industry and what a prodigious array of skills are required to produce every single cigar. This one of the many process involved and an example why I am sure I will never tire, or stop learning, about the cigar industry…