Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The History of Montecristo Cigars

In 1935, on the island of Cuba, a man by the name, Alonso Menendez had a vision for creating a particular premium cigar. After he purchased the Particulares Factory, Alonso set to work on his vision.   The name Montecristo was chosen and was a tribute to a famous novel at the time, “The Count of Monte Cristo” by Alexandre Dumas. Teaming up with his British distributor, John Hunter Morris and Elkan Co. Ltd, they designed the famous (Cuban) Montecristo logo. The following year, 1936, with all the success that the Montecristo brand was having, Alonso formed a new business with a partner. He named it Menéndez, García y Cía.  

The very next year, Alonso and his new partner purchased the H. Upmann factory from J. Frankau SA. They moved production of the Montecristo Cigar line to the new factory. The following years proved to be a wild success for the Montecristo cigar brand. Then in 1961, after Fidel Castro's takeover of the country and nationalizing of the cigar industry, Menéndez and García were forced to flee the country. Having all they owned stripped away from them, they fled to the Canary Islands. They immediately set up a tobacco factory and continued to produce the Montecristo cigar brand. Eventually, due to the fact that the Cuban government had taken over the Montecristo factory, Alonso and Garcia were forced to shut down, because of trademark infringements. Still seeing an opportunity, they traveled to the Dominican Republic and once again opened up a new factory producing the Montecristo cigar line, for the U.S. Market. They chose a town called, La Romana and set to work for a third time, rebuilding everything from scratch. The U.S. had an embargo in place on Cuba, thus they wouldn’t recognize the Cuban trademarks; this gave Alonso and his partner freedom to produce the Montecristo brand once again.

Today,  Altadis SA owns the Montecristo brand and is the marketer/distributor for the U.S. They offer a wide variety of cigars under the Montecristo name. The brand has grown substantially since its Dominican inception. Montecristo now has dozens of different cigar lines, as well as over ninety plus different options that include shape, size, and wrapper choices. They harvest and use the finest Dominican tobacco available on all their cigars, producing highly sought after gems. To this day, Montecristo Cigars are still one of the most popular cigars on the U.S. market.

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