Ventura Cigar Company (VCC) has announced a new collaboration between Michael Giannini, Benjamin “Benji” Menendez, and Manuel “Manolo” Quesada. This new project is called Cuban Cigar Factory, and will be comprised of two blends: The Benji Menendez for Cuban Cigar Factory and The Manolo Quesada for Cuban Cigar Factory.
Benji Menendez started at his father’s cigar factory in Cuba but was forced to leave when Castro came to power. After that, he started over as a purveyor of fine tobacco and eventually starting making cigars in almost every cigar producing country. “I still think about the cigar factory every day of my life,” says Benji Menendez.
The Benji Menendez for Cuban Cigar Factory will come in three vitolas: Robusto, Toro, and Belicoso. The blend uses a Connecticut Ecuadorian wrapper, Dominican binder, and Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers.
Manolo Quesada is a fourth-generation tobacco man. He also started in pre-Castro Cuba, working at his father’s company and was forced to leave Cuba by Castro’s rise to power. He landed in the Dominican Republic, where he started MATASA in 1972, which is today known at Quesada Cigars.
The Manolo Quesada for Cuban Cigar Factory also comes in a Robusto, Toro, and Belicoso. The blend starts with an Habano Ecuador wrapper, Ecuadorian binder, and Dominican fillers. “I feel like I’m a Rick Rubin of the cigar industry,” says Michael Giannini, General Manager at Ventura Cigar. “I’m bringing people together- people who I admire, my great friends who laid the foundation of the cigar industry, and people of the next generation. The creators and the consumers. Everyone has something to offer. We have a duty to engage this talent, not to let these great minds and their priceless knowledge fade away. They’re now our mentors, an inspiration to us all, and they’re still here. They’re still on the court, so let’s play ball. Let’s show everyone what we can do.”
Both Cuban Cigar Factory blends are made at the MATASA factory in the Dominican Republic, in collaboration with Ventura Cigar Company. They will be shown off at IPCPR 2019 and ship in late summer.
Both come in the following sizes and price: Robusto: 5″x50, $12.99 each or $259.98 for a box of 20, Toro: 6″x50, $13.99 each or $279.98 for a box of 20, Belicoso: 6.25″x52, $14.49 each, or $289.98 for a box of 20.