Great news from the Premium Cigar Association!

Joshua Habursky now oversees all government relations operations as the new Head of Government affairs.
Glynn Loope, former Executive Director of the Cigar Rights of America, will be assisting PCA as an advisor to state government affairs.

Glynn brings a wealth of industry experience and has been working closely with Josh and me developing state and regional training models. It will be a huge help to have his advice and insights as we work through some unprecedented challenges in the States
said PCA Executive Director Scott Pearce

In addition to Loope, the PCA has enlisted the services of graduate intern Ryan Parada, a current graduate student at Johns Hopkins University. Parada will be a research assistant and work on projects to help provide quality information to assist in tax and smoking ban legislation. 

Patrick Anderson of Proventure Consultants will re-engage with PCA as a general consultant on both federal and state affairs as we head into the new year. PCA will evaluate additional consultants and programs on a case by case basis and will look to attack key threats in states that present credible threats to the premium cigar industry.

The team of in-house lobbyists and consultants will also work with PCA marketing and communications to build new member content, podcasts, interviews, and virtual/live events. 

It is important that we build a team that can tackle that variety of issues that we will face at the federal and state levels. We feel confident that the experience, demonstrated success, and aggressive approach will serve our member well and protect the industry from retailers to manufacturers to consumers,” said Pearce. “It is imperative that the PCA is poised and ready to not only fight back, but to be proactive in making continuous progress for the industry.”

“The Premium Cigar Association (PCA) is the leading authority and advocate for the premium cigar and pipe retailer industry. The PCA is dedicated to the current and future success of brick and mortar premium tobacconists.
Founded in 1933 as the Retail Tobacco Dealers of America, the PCA is the largest, most active, and longest-running trade association representing and assisting premium tobacco retailersmanufacturers, and partners in the industry.
We offer premier services in educationadvocacy, and business development, helping protect our members’ businesses from unfair regulations while simultaneously helping them grow and succeed.”

2021 PCA Annual Convention and Trade Show will take place July 9—13, 2021at the Sands Venetian Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada! 

Premium Cigar Association
https://premiumcigars.org/?_zs=UWndX&_zl=4pIK2

News from Nicaragua:
Despite the impact of Hurricane Eta, a category 4 hurricane, the 2020-2021 tobacco harvest was not damaged”

The Nicaraguan Chamber of Tobacco tells us they’ve done an evaluation with the tobacco producers in Esteli and have determined the 2020-2021 Nicaragua tobacco harvest was safe from Hurricane Eta

But Nicaragua is now preparing for the impact of Hurricane Iota – also a category 4 hurricane – which is expected to hit Monday November 16, 2020.

The biggest challenge now facing tobacco producers in that Central America country is the amount of rainfall associated with those hurricanes.

The ground is saturated” said Claudio Sgroi, President of the Nicaraguan Chamber of Tobacco, “the rain that is expected now will not help”
______________________________________________________________________________

The Nicaraguan Chamber of Tobacco is an organization established in 2008 that represents the interests of the most important tobacco and cigar producers in Nicaragua.

Its 27 members represent 95% of the total national production of tobacco and cigars. In the last decade, Nicaragua has stood out as one of the largest producers of tobacco and cigars in the world.

Different brands manufactured in Nicaragua have been recognized by magazines and experts as the best in the world.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020 — Miami, Fla.– Today Drew Estate announces the cancellation of the upcoming Barn Smoker Live virtual event, originally scheduled for November 14th, due to the recent increase in COVID-19 cases throughout Florida.

The virtual Barn Smoker Live event was designed to be broadcast live from the tobacco fields in Clermont, Fla., featuring members of the Drew Estate team including Jonathan Drew, Willy Herrera, Pedro Gomez and more. However, due to the recent significant rise in COVID-19 cases in Florida, Drew Estate has, after much consideration, determined that it is unfortunately necessary to make this difficult decision to ensure the safety of both the staffs of Drew Estate and the incredible Florida Sun Grown Farm with whom Drew Estate partnered for this event.

From Sag Harbor, N.Y., Jonathan Drew, President and Founder of Drew Estate, notes, “It is with a heavy heart that we make this decision, but it’s clearly the right thing to do in this precarious moment. Many stakeholders, including DE staff, tobacco farmers, and a multitude of suppliers have contributed a great deal to creating such an amazing experience … all for the love of the leaf, love of our special relationship with each of you, and to celebrate our industry and culture. Keep your heads up, stay safe, and support your friends and loved ones during these times. We love you guys and look forward to being together soon under the big tents at the farms.”

Drew Estate had previously announced that as part of the Barn Smoker Goodwill Act, it would be donating $50,000 to Cigars for Warriors. Despite being unable to move forward with Barn Smoker Live under the current conditions, Drew Estate will still be making the full $50,000 donation to Cigars for Warriors, a charitable organization to whom Drew Estate has donated over $250,000 to date.

Financial donations to Cigars for Warriors may be made via PayPal. Cigar donations may be made at an authorized Cigars for Warriors donation center or sent to Attention: Cigars for Warriors at 8585 SW Hwy 200 Unit # 16, Ocala, FL 34481. For more information, visit cigarsforwarriors.org.

  • info from Drew Estate Press Release

In 2018 I embarked on a trip from Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada to Las Vegas, Nevada to attend the Premium Cigar Association Trade show, known then as IPCPR.
It’s the largest gathering of cigar producers, distributors and retailers in North America.
It’s always exciting to see all the elaborate booths and the new cigar releases and get to know the big names in the cigar industry.

It was an absolute honour to meet Nirka Reyes of De Los Reyes Cigars which, in addition to their own cigar blends – Don Julio & Saga – makes Debonaire, Indian Motorcycles, Patoro & Puros de Hostos cigars for other companies.

The De Los Reyes story is a long one which dates back to the 1850’s when Nirka’s family immigrated to the Dominican Republic from Spain.
They have been growing tobacco for generations since.

Nirka decided to start making the unique Saga series cigar in 2014 starting with the Saga Golden Age using all Dominican tobacco: Corojo 2006 Dominican Wrapper, Dominican San Vicente binder & original Piloto Cubano seed tobacco in the filler.

The 1st volume of Saga Short Tales volume came out in 2016 and was aptly named: “Tales of the High Primings”.
Each box looks like a book and the public responded favourably, wanting to buy full boxes of the cigar … and then wanted an entire collection!

Currently, there are six editions, with plans for 4 more.

The De Los Reyes team is dedicated to making cigars that bring joy to people who love cigars.

I enjoyed a Saga Short Tales cigar when I stopped for a stroll in Gallup, New Mexico, which was just one of many stops along the way during my Cigar Road-Trip 2018.
Definitely a box-worthy … or in this case “volume-worthy” … smoke!


https://www.reyescigar.com

WINDSOR, Calif., August 19, 2020 – Today Sonoma-Cutrer Pinot Noir Winemaker, Zidanelia Arcidiacono, earned a spot on the 2020 Wine Enthusiast 40 Under 40 list, which recognizes the young winemakers, brewers, beverage directors, grape growers, and other movers and shakers who are changing today’s beverage industry.  

“We are so proud of Z for receiving this great recognition,” said Sonoma-Cutrer Director of Winemaking, Mick Schroeter. “Z’s leadership and passion makes her an integral member of our team and well deserving of Wine Enthusiast’s 40 under 40 Tastemakers.”

Born in Texas, Zidanelia “Z” and her family moved to Mendoza, Argentina when she was just three years old. Since winemaking is the main economic industry in that region, she grew up surrounded by winemakers and listening to their wonderful stories. The passion they expressed for their life’s work made a deep impression on her at a young age, and she decided winemaking was her true calling.

Zidanelia began her career working in the lab at Bodega Cruz de Piedra while attending university in Mendoza. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in winemaking, she traveled to the south of France to the Cave cooperative Les Vignerons du Pays d’Enserune, working in the cellar for a harvest. Upon returning to Mendoza, however, she realized she wanted to keep traveling and her next destination should be California.

After arriving in the US in 2007, Zidanelia soon learned of Sonoma-Cutrer, where she applied for and was hired as an Enologist for that season’s harvest. She loved the experience and region so much that she decided to stay, moving on to the same position at Fetzer winery. There her skills, experience, passion and hard work helped her move quickly through the ranks, and she became the Winemaker for Fetzer Reserve Wines and Little Black Dress within a few years.

Returning to Sonoma-Cutrer in 2015, Zidanelia is happy to be back where her California adventure first began. Her experience working on reserve wines made her the perfect fit for the role of crafting Sonoma-Cutrer’s outstanding Pinot Noirs. Zidanelia says that she loves nurturing the wines throughout the process and, even more, seeing others enjoy the results of her work.

Not only is Zidanelia dedicated to shaping the future of Sonoma-Cutrer Pinot Noir, which she considers a “best kept secret,” she also champions the winery’s employee resource groups on female leadership and sustainability. In this role, she works to provide tools, career development assets and education for women within the organization and helps to promote and implement a range of green initiatives. 

“I love challenges because I know those achievements are most rewarding, which is why Pinot Noir is my favorite variety,” says Sonoma-Cutrer Pinot Noir Winemaker, Zidanelia Arcidiacono. “I truly believe that my accomplishments are a clear reflection of my tenacity, perseverance and passion; but I also owe it in large part to the people who influenced and continue to mark my path.”

About Sonoma-Cutrer:

Sonoma-Cutrer has been crafting wines since 1981 in the esteemed Russian River Valley growing region of Sonoma County, California.  Our flagship wine Russian River Ranches was built in the on-premise and for almost 40 years has dominated the Most Popular Chardonnay wine lists. Our winemaking process is designed specifically to preserve the highest quality grapes, and the wines are aged in barrels made of specific French oak trees that are individually-selected to fit the winemakers’ needs. All Sonoma-Cutrer wines can be purchased at the Sonoma-Cutrer winery as well as through the wine club, Club Cutrer.

For more information about our wines, how to purchase or to join Club Cutrer, please visit www.sonomacutrer.com or visit Facebook at www.facebook.com/sonomacutrervineyards.

August 19, 2020. In the case of Cigar Association of America, the Premium Cigar Association, and Cigar Rights of America v. United States Food and Drug Administration et al., Judge Amit P. Mehta of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled in favor for the premium cigar industry and against the FDA.

The Court held that the FDA—in the Final Deeming Rule—completely mishandled the important question of how premium cigars should proceed through the premarket review process.

The Court concluded that the FDA failed to engage in “reasoned decision-making” regarding premium cigars, in violation of federal law.

According to the Court, the FDA’s “incorrect and conclusory assertion that its hands were tied” in response to the premium cigar industry’s requests for a more tailored regulatory review process “was arbitrary.”

Accordingly, the FDA enjoined application of the premarket review requirements until the agency goes back and addressed the important questions regarding premium cigars ignored in the Final Deeming Rule.

Premium cigar manufacturers will not have to file for
premarket approval by September 9th, 2020.

The Court relayed upon a definition of premium cigar utilized by the FDA in an August 5, 2020 filing:

a cigar that:
(1) is wrapped in whole tobacco leaf
(2) contains a 100 percent leaf tobacco binder
(3) contains at least 50 percent (of the filler by weight) long filler tobacco (i.e., whole tobacco leaves that run the length of the cigar)
(4) is handmade or hand rolled (i.e., no machinery was used apart from simple tools, such as scissors to cut the tobacco prior to rolling)
(5) has no filter, non-tobacco tip, or non-tobacco mouthpiece
(6) does not have a characterizing flavor other than tobacco
(7) contains only tobacco, water, and vegetable gum with no other ingredients or additives; and
(8) weighs more than 6 pounds per 1,000 units.”

The definition is endorsed by the Premium Cigar Association and will provide relief to most products sold at PCA member retail stores and lounges.
Notably the definition does not include a price minimum, flavors, or cigars that are machine manufactured. 

“This is another monumental victory for the premium cigar industry. We congratulate our legal team, led by Mike Edney of Steptoe & Johnson, on an important victory that protects the livelihood of PCA members across the country.
This comes on the heels of legal victories striking down warning labels for premium cigars. Both our retail members and associate members provided important strategy and guidance in our legal, legislative, and regulatory appeals to define premium cigars and showcase their distinctiveness from the courts to Capitol Hill,” says Scott Pearce PCA Executive Director.

“Judge Mehta’s opinion is a testament to the virtue of the public comments filed over the years with the FDA by our industry alliance, and the failure of the FDA to not only respond, but to recognize the suggestions made to address the fairness of the proposed regulations. The efforts of the advocacy strategies initiated by CRA and PCA served as the foundation for this decision, proving that you always have to carry your message to both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, and the courthouse that sits in the middle,” says Glynn Loope, CRA Executive Director.

Premium Cigar Association
513 Capitol Court NE, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20002

CIGAR RIGHTS OF AMERICA, 
300 New Jersey Avenue, Northwest,Suite 900, Washington, DC 20001

It’s been 50 years since Jockey Diane Crump became the first female to ride in The Kentucky Derby® — and this year’s Woodford Reserve $1,000 Mint Julep Cup program celebrates that milestone.

Crump rode Fathom in the 1970 Derby and, although the thoroughbred finished 15th, Crump rode into history. Crump lives in Virginia and remains involved in the horse industry.

“The $1,000 Mint Julep program has become a cherished Derby tradition — and this year we are honoured to mark an important moment in Derby history while also raising money for charity,”
Woodford Reserve Master Distiller Chris Morris said.

A total of 146 julep cups — celebrating Derby 146 — go on sale on Monday, August 3 at woodfordreservemintjulep.com.

Cups numbered 1-25 are gold-plated; selling for $2,500 each.
Cups numbered 26-146 are silver-plated; selling for $1,000 each.

In years past, anyone who purchased a julep cup could only pick it up on Derby Day at Churchill Downs. Due to the global pandemic, the cups will be sent directly to consumers and Morris will conduct a virtual julep experience on Derby Day, which has been postponed this year to Saturday, September 5, 2020.

Proceeds from the cup sales will be donated in Crump’s honor to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.

The cups feature etchings of the jockey silks worn in 1970 by Crump, along with the Twin Spires of Churchill Downs.

They are nestled in a walnut case with a replica of turquoise and white silks that Crump wore that historic day.

The cups have special meaning to Woodford Reserve and its parent company, Brown-Forman, which this year is celebrating its 150th anniversary.

Fathom was owned by a Brown family member — W.L. Lyons Brown. 

The cups were designed and handcrafted by From the Vault Jewelers in Louisville, Ky. and the silks for the walnut containers were made by Bourbon Cousins of Cincinnati.

Diane Crump Blackberry Mint Julep 

(blackberry is the official fruit of Kentucky)

2 oz. Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon

1 barspoon Blackberry Preserves

1 barspoon Simple Syrup

Mint Bitters

Fresh Blackberries and Mint Sprigs, for garnish

Crushed Ice

At the bottom of the julep cup mix 1 bar spoon of blackberry preserves and 1 bar spoon of simple syrup. Add 2 – 4 dashes of mint bitters. Fill two-thirds of cup with crushed ice. Add sipping straw and Woodford Reserve Bourbon. Top off cup with more crushed ice (packed in). Top with fresh blackberries and a sprig of mint to garnish. Put the mint near the straw, so the smell enhances each sip. Enjoy!

 About Woodford Reserve:

Woodford Reserve® is crafted at the historic Woodford Reserve Distillery, tucked in the heart of thoroughbred country in Versailles, Kentucky. A National Historic Landmark, the Woodford Reserve Distillery represents craftsmanship with a balance of historic heritage and modern practices. Woodford Reserve is a product of the Brown-Forman Corporation, a premier producer and marketer of fine quality beverage alcohol brands including Jack Daniel’s, Finlandia, Korbel, Tequila Herradura, Old Forester, Sonoma-Cutrer and Chambord. Please enjoy your bourbon responsibly.
To learn more about Woodford Reserve, visit us www.woodfordreserve.com or check us out on Facebook at www.facebook.com/woodfordreserve.

About Churchill Downs Racetrack:

Churchill Downs®, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented America’s greatest race, the Kentucky Derby, continuously since 1875. Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ: CHDN) offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track. Churchill Downs will conduct the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 4, 2019. For more information visit www.ChurchillDowns.com

https://www.woodfordreservemintjulep.com/2020-silver-cup.htmlhttps://www.woodfordreservemintjulep.com/2020-silver-cup.html

DTT Timeshare Experience

Dunbarton, NH – Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust® (DTT) recently announced an innovative virtual initiative dubbed with their tongues firmly planted in cheek called “The DTT Timeshare Experience”.

The program debuted in the 2nd half of July 2020 in response to the cancellation of PCA’s Annual Trade Show for the cigar industry.

“Everyone is trying to figure out the best way to serve their Retail Customers and their own interests in this very topsy-turvy year of trade show and event cancellations.
Most are doing virtual sales meetings, other are hosting virtual tradeshows and/or mini-physical travelling trade shows.

Honestly, I do not know how these will work, but I am doubtful that any of these strategies are appropriate for our Select Purveyors currently when it comes to our brands.

For us, sales have been solid and we are on track for another record setting year; this is thanks to steady growth with ever increasing turns and volume per turn.

In my opinion, the best thing we can do is remain steady and continue to enhance our brands’ value for our Retailers and their customers,” states Steve Saka, Founder and Co-Owner of DTT.

He goes on to add, “So rather than focus on sales, we have created an interactive program that will educate and engage our Select Purveyors and any of their staff they wish to include.

It will be focused on our products, industry trends, business strategy for continued growth, etc. in my typical no-nonsense manner. But ‘man does not live on work alone’, so we decided to spice it up a bit and jokingly bring in some elements of those really crappy timeshare pitches that we all endured as children whose parents just wanted the FREE whatever for listening. Now I cannot promise it will be good, but it will definitely be different and hopefully fun!

And of course we will throw out some sort of deal or two at the end, but that will not be the primary focus – we want our Purveyors to buy our puros not because they are discounted, but because they are exceptional and serve the needs of the most experienced and discerning customers. ”

Emails soliciting for registration in the DTT Timeshare Experience have been transmitted to Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Select Purveyors.

Some opportunities will only be extended to those who participate in the program.

®Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust are registered trademarks of Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust and/or affiliated companies.

About Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust, LLC
Founded in 2015, Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust (DTT) has quickly become the premier craft manufacturer of ultra- premium handmade cigars. Founded by cigar and industry expert Steve Saka, a former Executive Consultant to JR Cigar and President and CEO of Drew Estate, with the singular focus to create only “Puros Sin Compromiso” – Cigars Without Compromise.

Included within their portfolio are:
Sobremesa
Mi Querida
Todos Las Dias
Sin Compromiso
Umbagog
Muestra de Saka.


DTT is the only company ever to be named the “Company of the Year” for three consecutive years by Halfwheel.

For more information, please visit: 
www.dunbartoncigars.com.

®Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust are registered trademarks of Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust and/or affiliated companies.

Much like a family reunion, the Premium Cigar Association trade show provided a great opportunity to network with all of the cigar producers, cigar reps and accredited cigar media again for another year.

Among my favorite people with whom to visit during the PCA2018 trade show were the marvelous Tanya & Jeff Borysiewicz.
Jeff, Tanya & their team at Corona Cigar Company won the coveted Davidoff Appointed Merchant of the Year / Golden Band Award in 2018.
Seeing the joy from them both was one of the highlights of the entire show. It was terrific being part of the Davidoff White Party!

So, what does it take to be the best Cigar shop? Be the best people.
The Borysiewicz’s are tireless. Jeff will spend day after day at the trade show talking cigars & tobacco with everyone who has an interest.
He brings the coolest props, too … check out these great tobacco leaves:

photo credit: Val Bradshaw
photo credit: Tim Brown

As a proud American, President & Founder of Corona Cigar Company, Jeff Borysiewicz believed it was possible to bring cigar tobacco farming back to Florida
In 2012, Corona Cigar Co. purchased a 20 acre plot of land and in 2013 they planted their 1st test crop of Cuban seed Corojo and they were on their way to growing great tobacco.
The result is FSG: Florida Sun Grown … a star of the cigar trade show in 2018.

photo credit: Val Bradshaw

And just like an FSG will always put a smile on your face … so do the Borysiewicz’s with their zest for life & their commitment to cigars.

photo credit: Val Bradshaw
photo credit: Val Bradshaw

Jeff has time for everyone, including man’s best friend!

It was also nice that Jeff took a little time to swing by the @CigarHerf booth where we shared a few laughs and some wonderful cigar camaraderie!

Photo Credit: Tim Brown

Florida Sun Grown

https://www.coronacigar.com

July 2018. I arrived in Las Vegas late in the afternoon after a completely almost-uneventful drive from Denver.
As always, the 1st place I head is one of my favourite Cigar Lounges of all time – En Fuego Cigars & Lounge on W. Sahara.

As a matter of fact, one of the reasons I stay at the Sahara Las Vegas is because it’s within walking distance of En Fuego!

If you’re looking for a casual, comfortable place to enjoy a cigar, En Fuego is the place for you.

En Fuego Cigars & Lounge has lots of comfortable seating, friendly staff and an extensive selection in the humidor.
If you’re looking for something unique, try one of En Fuego‘s Custom Blend cigars.

En Fuego Cigar Lounge has an in-house Master Cigar Roller who makes a variety of sizes and blends of cigars.

Master Roller Don Antonio has been both a vital part and a star attraction at En Fuego for many years.
His cigars are legendary.
Every cigar that goes through Don Antonio’s expert touch is perfect, with quality tobacco and impressive wrapper leaf.

En Fuego Custom Blend cigars come in a variety of sizes, but, as usual, I went with my favourite size … the Panetela.

Much like a Lancero, it takes a special touch to ensure a Panetela is rolled just right.
If you’ve ever tried to “roll your own” premium cigar, you know what I’m talking about.

A panetela can range in size anywhere from 5″- 7.5 inches.
The ring gauge can go anywhere from a 34 to a 38.

It’s an easy smoke that will give you an hours worth of relaxation!

En Fuego
https://enfuegolasvegas.com/cigars/#signature

Don Antonio = Master Cigar Roller at En Fuego
https://enfuegolasvegas.com/cigars/#signature

328 W. Sahara Ave
Las Vegas NV 89102
(702) 384-9262