JANUARY 15, 2020 CHARLIE MINATO AWARDS – HALFWHEEL
For the last four years, Arturo Fuente has been on the most aggressive modernization campaign this industry has seen. Its main factory in the Dominican Republic has been renovated, new buildings are up at its Chateau de la Fuente tobacco field, the company is buying more fields in Nicaragua, there are plans for an ornate factory in Estelí, a box factory—perhaps the largest in the western world—is set to open soon and the company built a new bonded warehouse in Tampa. Most of these things didn’t happen in 2019, but the Arturo Fuente Construction Co. has been as active as any in the cigar industry and 2019 was no exception.
Beyond buildings, Fuente has revamped its international distribution with the launch of Arturo Fuente International. Perhaps most importantly, the company has made massive commitments to supplying these markets with products. There are new partnerships with companies like Stefano Ricci, and new developments in partnerships with its longtime partners: the Newmans and Meerapfels.
What is perhaps the most interesting aspect to this is that 2020 might be Fuente’s biggest year to date: it marks the 25th anniversary of OpusX and the 20th anniversary of Añejo.
If there is one metric where Fuente stands clearly above everyone else, it is popularity on halfwheel in 2019. If we focus solely on the articles we write about a singular company or a singular cigar, i.e. no legislation or editorial, half of the 10 most read articles about a singular company were about Fuente.
So while there might be no singular metric or moment that crowns our winner, Fuente’s body of work was as good as any in 2019.
WINTER 2019 – CigarsLover Magazine
One of the most prestigious brands in the cigar world had his humble beginning in 1912 in West Tampa, Florida. Arturo Fuente, after a fire burned down the factory in 1924, restarted the brand 22 years later and produced cigars, made out of Cuban tobacco and for the local market, on his back porch. In 1958, the company was sold to his younger son Carlos Fuente Sr. for exactly $1. Carlos expanded the company outside of Florida to New York. After the embargo and no more access to Cuban tobacco, Carlos started looking for tobacco from new regions. With the labor costs increasing the family trying to move production to other countries, but the quality of these factories was insufficient. In 1970 they built their factory in Esteli, Nicaragua. Disaster would strike again only nine years later, as the factory was burned down during the Nicarguan Revolution. Carlos, together with his son Carlito, invested everything that was left and in 1980 built their factory in Santiago, in the Dominican Republic. Many disasters struck again, but the family always stood back up. In they 1980s they scored their first success with introducing the Hemingway line. They also, against all odds, grew their own wrapper in the Dominican Republic, which is used for the Opus X line. Today, Arturo Fuente Cigars are famous for their many lines, such as the Hemingway, the Don Carlos and many more. Their Opus X line is one of the most luxurious cigar lines in the world, which recently celebrated its 20 year anniversary. Over the years they have enjoyed continues success with great ratings in our magazine. This year, to continue their growth worldwide, they, together with the Meerapfel family, launched Arturo Fuente International. With this launch, they now have a warehouse, located in Belgium, that can cover the demand worldwide. In a fast moving world, with the focus always going to the next best thing, Arturo Fuente has to stay relevant and on top of the cigar world.
BEING THE GRANDDAUGHTER OF the late Carlos Fuente, Sr. and daughter of Carlos Fuente, Jr. must carry quite a responsibility. The Arturo Fuente brand is renowned in the cigar world as the manufacturer of the world’s finest cigars. Celebrating 100 years of hard work, dedication and family tradition in 2012, Fuente cigars are a global benchmark for the cigar industry. From humble beginnings, the company has grown from strength to strength and most importantly, is still family-owned and operated in the Dominican Republic. Read Entire Story!
There are many awards, but only a few are conferred by you, the consumers. The greater the suspense on Friday evening, when the winners of the coveted public awards were announced in the presence of the biggest names of the industry.
To determine the shortlists our readers were asked to nominate their top-candidates in the categories Best Brand, Best Cigar, Best Value, Best Accessory, and Best Lounge and then to determine the winner from the top five. We are particularly pleased that the public awards are enjoying unwavering growth and popularity with cigar smokers from all over the world.
JULY 11, 2019 | By David Clough
Cigar shop owners from across the United States have spoken: cigar sales are up, Arturo Fuente is the best-selling handmade brand, and their customers are more discerning and educated about cigars than ever before. Despite concerns over higher taxes, FDA regulations and Internet sales taking business away from brick-and-mortar stores, most cigar retailers are having a good year—and they’re optimistic about the future. These are the main takeaways from Cigar Insider’s 24th annual poll of cigar shops across America. Read More
Occasionally, a cigar comes along that is unique in every way—interesting blend, innovative shape, intriguing story—and, at the same time, can still maintain the classic standards of excellence. This is the case with the Arturo Fuente Don Carlos Eye of the Shark, Cigar Aficionado’s 2017 Cigar of the Year.