The History of Arturo Fuente: Part 2

March 9, 2016

In 1958, Carlos Fuente Sr. bought A. Fuente & Co. from his father for one dollar. Carlos was very ambitious and sought to spread the Fuente name throughout the country. However, more problems were on the horizon. Once the Cuban embargo was put into effect, the main source of tobacco for the company was cut off. Carlos faced a serious question: where would he get his tobacco now?

Carlos would attempt several different blends using tobacco from around the world; Puerto Rican, Colombian, and even some American-grown leaf all failed to reach his expectation.

With the increase in American labor costs, the decision was made to bring the entire Fuente operation to Nicaragua. In the 1970s, Carlos opened up his factory in Estelí, one of the leading cigar-manufacturing regions of today. But as fate would have it, the Fuente family was faced with yet another harrowing disaster during the Nicaraguan Revolution in 1979, when the Fuente factory was burned to the ground. Determined to make one last effort to save his company, Carlos and his son, Carlito, moved their operation to Santiago, Dominican Republic, in 1980. The newly named Tabacelera A. Fuente had finally found its home.

The company found renewed success in the Dominican Republic. The introduction of the medium-bodied Hemingway line in the 1980s brought a newfound fame to the Fuente family. However, the company we know today really began to shine in the early 1990s, when Carlos’s son and partner, Carlito, introduced the first full-bodied Dominican puro, a cigar that would revolutionize the industry.

That cigar was the Fuente Fuente Opus X, a powerhouse made with nothing but Dominican tobacco, including a special wrapper grown only on Chateau Fuente, the family’s farm. The perfect example of what a century of hard work and determination can create, Opus X is considered by many to be one of the greatest cigars ever crafted, and has been lauded in Cigar Aficionado’s annual top-25 list eight times over the course of only 10 years.

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