The world has lost a great tobacco
grower. Alejandro Robaina, a legend in Cuba
and the rest of the world, died last weekend at the age of 91. His tobacco leaves wrapped some of the finest cigars
seen in his lifetime. , starting on his family's fields when he was only 10 year old, having smoked his first cigar a year earlier. Since then, his handiwork was evident in brands such as the Cohiba Esplendidos and Hoyo de Monterrey Double Corona.
Robaina was something of a public face for the Cuban tobacco industry, traveling until age would no longer let him do so effectively. That's when smokers worldwide came to him, eager to see the environment – and the man –responsible for some of the most popular cigars on Earth, among others. His grandson, Hiroshi, now runs the show, having taken over as Robaina got older.
Even after Fidel Castro came to power, Robaina remained an independent tobacco grower, and he was named the best in the country by the Cuban government in the mid-1990s, receiving the award from Castro himself. In 1997, Habanos S.A. created the Vegas Robaina brand, the only one named for a Cuban tobacco grower. Yet, it smokes differently from most Cuban cigars, and doesn't appear to have much of Robaina's tobacco in it, according to James Suckling of Cigar Aficionado.