Tobacco is cultivated in the Cibao Valley, north of Santiago.
After seeding, the plants grow about 5 feet high during 6-8 weeks. For Premium Cigars there are 12 different tobaccos cultivated in the Dominican Republic.
Only the top leaves are good enough to harvest for Premium Tobaccos. All other leaves from the plants are used for less quality cigars. Wooden cores are carefully removed. Domenico uses as wrappers the famous Connecticut-Ecuador/Shade leaves covering the mild line and the spicy Broadleaf Wrapper for the medium and strong-body line.
All selected leaves are dried in open huts on the fields for six weeks.
During the fermentation process the dried leaves are put in layers and fairly watered. These layers heat up themselves and nicotine, protein, ammoniac, chlorine and sugar essentials escape from the tobacco. Depending on the number of layer-changings during the time of three months, the outcoming tobacco will be mild, medium or strong. Through fermentation tobacco gets its final taste.
Slightly pressed to bales containing 120 lbs, Premium tobacco must be stored for at least 2 years prior to use. For Domenico Premium Cigars only prealtered tobacco with an age of 4 - 6 years is used.
On a daily basis, binder and wrapper leaves must be moistered with water before processing.
This takes half a day and 10 to 12 working steps. The leaves are stretched many times until they reach their original size.
Wrappers are sorted in two sizes (for smaller and bigger cigars). Binders and wrappers must kept humid until processing the cigars.
Two Cuban varieties (grown in the Dominican Republic) and one Dominican Premium Tobacco are blended as fillers. This is done by Master Rollers by hand, using whole leaves (for long filler cigars only).
The raw cigars (bunches) are pressed 45 min. within special wooden molds. After a quarter time period the molds have to be opened and each cigar gets a quarter turn.
4. Binding the wrapper
The raw cigars are taken out of the molds and special wrapping masters are applying the very thin Premium wrappers. Each cigar requires a half wrapper leaf.
5. Aging the cigars
After a first selection the cigars are bundled to 50 pcs. and stored for three weeks. During this time the cigars shrink a little because they lose moisture. All used tobaccos now merge now to a Domenico Cigar with its unique taste.
6. Final Control
In the fourth week after finishing a cigar, final control takes place by a Master Tabaquero who checks each single cigar by hand.
Finally the blue Domenico Ring is attached on each cigar.
Domenico Cigars is a small, Swiss owned factory, with high skilled Master Rollers from the Dominican Republic. Quality is our highest priority. For creating a Domenico Premium Cigar more than 40 steps are necessary. One tabaquero produces only 120 cigars per day, compared to over 250 cigars in mass production factories.