NEWS

The 11th Habanos Festival pays tribute to exclusive luxury

logofestival2009The new Montecristo Open line and the Gran Reserva Cohiba will be the star launches of this year’s Festival.

The XI Festival is also commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Trinidad brand and the tenth anniversary of its commercial launch.

Havana, 12th of February 2009.- During the week of the 23rd to the 27th of February, the Cuban capital is hosting the eleventh Habano Festival, the most important event in the world for Habano cigar lovers and professionals. More than a thousand people travel to the island each year to enjoy the pleasures of this exclusive product in its original context.

Each year, the Festival has acted as a showcase for the international presentations and launches of the firm’s latest and most emblematic products. This year, there will be two exceptional stars in the Festival: Montecristo Open, the new range of the most legendary brand of Habanos; and the first Gran Reserva from Habanos, which of course, is dedicated to Cohiba.

Apart from the Trade Fair that attracts the leading businessmen of the industry, during the Festival, visitors will also have the chance to lose themselves for a few days in the fascinating world of the Habano, by virtue of the activities planned during the International Seminar: master classes on hand rolling Cuban cigars, lectures, documentaries and suggestive combinations of Habano cigars with the best Cuban Rums, to continue the traditional association of Habano cigars with the best products in the world.

The week will also see events that have been held every year. This is the case of the International Habanosommelier Competition, an event to be held for the eighth year running because of the following it has gained, due to the growing number of cigar smokers that are increasingly turning to a sommelier for advice when choosing a Habano cigar. This competition is open to the winners of the different events held in different countries throughout the world by the Exclusive Distributors of Habanos. Last year’s winner of this prestigious prize was Cuban sommelier Zudlay Nápoles, from La Floridita, which shows the increasing value that the competition places on women in the world of Cuban cigars.

Cuba has the best soil, the most favourable weather conditions in the world and a long tradition of planters that specialise in growing tobacco. As in previous years, the organisers of this year’s Festival will offer visitors the chance to visit some of the most important plantations in Cuba, including the plantations of San Juan y Martínez and San Luis in the Vuelta Abajo region, the cradle of the best Cuban tobacco.

But the excellencies of the Habano are not only due to the unrivalled characteristics of the soil; it is also due to the skill of rollers, blenders and other professionals of the art of making Habano cigars. This year, visits have been arranged to two of the most emblematic factories of Havana: El Laguito, where the prestigious Cohiba brand is made, and the H. Upmann factory, recently refurbished and converted into one of the most modern in Cuba, where prestigious brands such as Montecristo are made.

Exclusive events

Havana will open the XI Habano Festival on the 23rd of February with the traditional Welcome Night, which will be held in the Teatro Karl Marx, in which music and acts will be combined with the glamour of the best cigars in the world.

One of the highlights of the evening will be the presentation of Montecristo Open, the leading range of the most universal brand of Habano cigars, which has been specially designed to satisfy smokers that enjoy the pleasure of smoking outside. Open has four different vitolas (Eagle, Regata, Master and Junior) made entirely from leaf from the best tobacco growing area of Cuba, the plantations of Vuelta Abajo.

But there will be another highpoint to the evening too; the presentation of the nominations for the Habano Prizes 2008, awarded to the most important figures in the industry in the categories of Production, Communication and Business, and which are presented during the Gala Night.

Wednesday the 25th of February is the date of Trinidad Night, in a tribute to one of the most exclusive brands of Habano cigars, a brand that was used for many years as a gift for Kings, Heads of State and Ministers, as was the case of Cohiba cigars during the first years of the brand. This is currently one of the most highly appreciated brands by true Premium cigar lovers. This evening, which will also see the presentation of the new Robustos T vitola, will commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Trinidad brand, and the 10th anniversary of its international commercial launch.

The XI Habano Festival will close its doors on the 27th of February with the exclusive Gala Night, which will be held in Pabexpo this year. The evening’s programme includes the presentation of the latest Habanos S.A. launch, the Gran Reserva Cohiba Siglo VI. This first Gran Reserva has been aged for five years for all the leaf used (filler, binder and wrapper leaf) and consists of a single production of 5,000 numbered cases, representing the absolute excellence of the brand and will undoubtedly be a success among lovers of the most exclusive Habano cigars.

Another of the highpoints of the evening will be the Humidor Auction. These are genuine, hand crafted works of art, made of cedar wood and containing an exceptional assortment of Cuban cigars. We hope to exceed the sum raised in the Auction held last year in the X Habano Festival, of 945,000 €, which will go entirely to the Cuban Health Service.

Habanos Corporation, world leader in the market of “Premium” cigars, markets Habano in Cuba and in the rest of the world. To this end, it has a network of exclusive distributors in over 150 countries in five continents.

Habanos S.A. presently distributes a range of products consisting of over 80 formats in its 27 brands, including Cohiba, Montecristo, Romeo y Julieta, Partagás, Hoyo de Monterrey, H. Upmann, Punch, San Cristóbal de la Habana, Trinidad and Cuaba; among others.