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The key region for tobacco growing in the Dominican Republic is the lush Cibao Valley, which many experts feel has only one rival: Cuba’s Vuelta Abajo region. Named for a river that flows through its center, the Cibao Valley is bordered by mountain ranges that help to provide an ideal setting for growing premium tobacco.

The soil is rich, deep and bountiful, and the air is cooled by afternoon breezes. Throughout the Dominican Republic, master blenders find a dizzying array of tobacco that ultimately blend together to comprise a premium cigar.

Ernesto Perez-Carrillo has roots that run deep throughout the Dominican Republic. When orders for his former brand, La Gloria Cubana, skyrocketed in the 1990’s, Ernesto could not meet demand with his small factory in Calle Ocho.

E.P. Carrillo Cigars

At one point, La Gloria Cubana’s Torpedo (rated a 93 by Cigar Aficionado in 1993) was in backorder for 12 months, and the need for a larger factory was obvious. He selected a site in Santiago, Dominican Republic to be his second factory.

When time came to choose a location for the E.P. Carrillo factory, Ernesto knew exactly where it needed to be located. In April 2009, he signed a lease on a 40,000 square foot, stand-alone building in Santiago’s Zona Franca, and immediately began the construction of his dream factory, which he named Tabacalera La Alianza.

Here is where the tobacco is fermented, aged, hand-made, and packaged under the supervision of Ernesto. Spread across 12 rolling tables, experienced cigar-rollers are in essence re-learning their craft as they are trained to roll cigars the “Cuban way” – the cigars are beautifully finished with a triple-cap method.

Ernesto Perez-Carrillo’s achievements have been driven largely by an insatiable desire to understand the intricacies of tobaccos from all over the world. “Each tobacco has its own character. You have to treat each tobacco differently and understand how they work together,” he says.

Nicaragua’s reputation is the result of the remarkable climate and soil of the three main tobacco growing areas in the country – Esteli, Condega, and Jalapa. Each plays an integral role in the formation of Ernesto’s unique blends.

Not far from the Honduran border, the towns of Esteli and Condega are home to the majority of cigar production in the country. Surrounded by some of the most fertile land in Central America, these towns boast lush fields of Cuban-seed tobacco. Esteli’s black soil produces a heavy, full-flavored dark leaf that is rich with full aromas, body and flavor. Condega’s tobacco is typically sun-grown and used primarily for filler and binders.

Northeast of Esteli and Condega lies the Jalapa Valley, whose remoteness is mitigated by the extraordinary tobacco it produces. The naturally-occurring minerals in the soil give the tobacco here an earthy-sweet flavor.

In the wake of the U.S. trade embargo with Cuba in the 1960’s, the cigar industry scrambled to find wrapper alternatives to Cuban tobacco. For the Perez-Carrillo family, that search ended in Ecuador.

Home to more than 30 active volcanoes, Ecuador’s ashy eruptions may not bode well for tourism, but they do benefit the tobacco trade. The volcanic ash helps create an intensely fertile soil, ripe for growing a premium tobacco leaf.

Ecuador’s constant cloud cover has led many to call the country’s tobacco “cloud grown” as opposed to “shade grown.” This natural protection from the sun is what creates a thin but firm tobacco leaf that is flavorful, natural in color and smooth to the eyes and touch.

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  • E.P. Carrillo Pledge Sojourn Toro Cigar E.P. Carrillo Pledge Sojourn Toro Cigar Box E.P. Carrillo Pledge Sojourn Toro Cigar Single

    E.P. Carrillo Pledge Sojourn Toro Cigar

    Brand: E.P. Carrillo Cigars  Model: Pledge Sojourn Origin: Dominican Republic Wrapper: Connecticut Havana Seed Size: 6 x 52 Shape: Toro Strength: Full Amount:   1 Stick  5 Sticks  10 (Box)  

    $12.60 - $113.40
  • E.P. Carrillo Encore Celestial Toro Cigar E.P. Carrillo Encore Celestial Toro Cigar Box E.P. Carrillo Encore Celestial Toro Cigar Single

    E.P. Carrillo Encore Celestial Toro Cigar

    Brand: E.P. Carrillo Cigars  Model: Encore Celestial Origin: Dominican Republic Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano Size: 6 1/8 x 50 Shape: Toro Strength: Medium Amount:   1 Stick  5 Sticks  10 (Box)  

    $12.70 - $114.30
  • E.P. Carrillo Pledge Prequel Robusto Cigar E.P. Carrillo Pledge Prequel Robusto Cigar Box E.P. Carrillo Pledge Prequel Robusto Cigar Single

    E.P. Carrillo Pledge Prequel Robusto Cigar

    Brand: E.P. Carrillo Cigars  Model: Pledge Prequel Origin: Dominican Republic Wrapper: Connecticut Havana Seed Size: 5 x 50 Shape: Robusto Strength: Full Amount:   1 Stick  5 Sticks  10 (Box)  

    $11.35 - $102.15
  • E.P. Carrillo Inch #60 Natural Cigar E.P. Carrillo Inch #60 Natural Cigar Box E.P. Carrillo Inch #60 Natural Cigar Single

    E.P. Carrillo Inch #60 Natural Cigar

    Brand: E.P. Carrillo Cigars  Model: Inch Natural Origin: Dominican Republic Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra Size: 5 7/8 x 50 Shape: Gordo Strength: Medium Amount:   1 Stick  5 Sticks  24 (Box)  

    $10.30 - $222.48
  • E.P. Carrillo Encore Majestic Robusto Cigar E.P. Carrillo Encore Majestic Robusto Cigar Box E.P. Carrillo Encore Majestic Robusto Cigar Single

    E.P. Carrillo Encore Majestic Robusto Cigar

    Brand: E.P. Carrillo Cigars  Model: Encore Majestic Origin: Dominican Republic Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano Size: 5 3/8 x 52 Shape: Robusto Strength: Medium Amount:   1 Stick  5 Sticks  10...

    $12.50 - $112.50
  • E.P. Carrillo Encore El Primero Cigar E.P. Carrillo Encore El Primero Cigar Box E.P. Carrillo Encore El Primero Cigar Single

    E.P. Carrillo Encore El Primero Cigar

    Brand: E.P. Carrillo Cigars  Model: Encore Majestic Origin: Dominican Republic Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano Size: 6 7/8 X 54 Shape: Toro Strength: Medium Amount:   1 Stick  5 Sticks  20...

    $13.55 - $143.90
  • E.P. Carrillo La Historia E-III Cigar E.P. Carrillo La Historia E-III Cigar Box E.P. Carrillo La Historia E-III Cigar Single

    E.P. Carrillo La Historia E-III Cigar

    Brand: E.P. Carrillo Cigars  Model: La Historia Dona Elena Origin: Dominican Republic Wrapper: Mexican San Andres Size: 6 7/8 X 54 Shape: Toro Strength: Full Amount:   1 Stick  5 Sticks  20 (Box)  

    $12.65 - $227.70
  • E.P. Carrillo Inch #60 Maduro Cigar E.P. Carrillo Inch #60 Maduro Cigar Box E.P. Carrillo Inch #60 Maduro Cigar Single

    E.P. Carrillo Inch #60 Maduro Cigar

    Brand: E.P. Carrillo Cigars  Model: Inch Maduro Origin: Dominican Republic Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf Size: 5 7/8 x 50 Shape: Gordo Strength: Medium Amount:   1 Stick  5 Sticks  24 (Box)  

    $10.96 - $236.70
  • E.P. Carrillo Pledge Apogee Gordo Cigar E.P. Carrillo Pledge Apogee Gordo Cigar Box E.P. Carrillo Pledge Apogee Gordo Cigar Single

    E.P. Carrillo Pledge Apogee Gordo Cigar

    Brand: E.P. Carrillo Cigars  Model: Pledge Apogee Origin: Dominican Republic Wrapper: Connecticut Havana Seed Size: 6 1/4 x 58 Shape: Gordo Strength: Full Amount:   1 Stick  5 Sticks  10 (Box)  

    $15.00 - $135.00
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