From January 21 to 24, the Nicaraguan Chamber of Tobacco promoted the Puro Sabor Festival 2020. After a one-year absence due to the political protests and social unrest in the country, this year’s edition revived the rhythm and brought together cigar enthusiasts from more than 30 countries.
Unlike the previous two editions that incorporated a night in the colonial city of Granada, this year participants spent the first night in the capital Managua. However, the guests had the option to take a day tour to Granada to visit the Mombacho factory, located in a beautiful colonial house in the heart of the city, where they learned about some of the factory processes and were able to try some of the cigars produced by the manufacture. The group was also able to take a short tour of the Isletas, a small group of islands on the outskirts of the city, and visit the Masaya volcano.
On the morning of the 22nd, guests headed to the city of Estelí, where the main Nicaraguan tobacco fields and factories are based. On the way to Estelí the group stopped for a quick tour at Victor Calvo’s plantation and then to the Plasencia farm for the first lunch before starting the group visits in the afternoon.
The next days involved full immersion into the country’s cigar scene, where guests had the opportunity to do guided tours to get to know all the processes from the farms to the factories. It was an opportunity to meet their favorite cigar companies and also roll their own cigars.
As usual, Thursday was the evening of the White Party where all the guests dressed in white cotonas, a typical Nicaraguan costume, and gathered at J.C. Newman’s PENSA factory. The night was filled with cultural events, and speeches were given by some of the manufactures and members of the Nicaraguan Chamber of Tobacco.
A gala dinner closed the festival on Friday evening at the Scandinavian Tobacco Group. Among the many spectacles, Claudio Sgroi, owner of Mombacho Cigars, was named as the new president of the Chamber of Tobacco. In his opening speech, Claudio announced that the city of Granada would return to the main Puro Sabor program for the 2021 edition.
Puro Sabor 2020 left a pleasant taste on the palates of participants and promoters for getting the festival back on track. Although the festival was downsized to 120 guests this year, compared to the record attendance of 200 people in 2018, it was marvelous to see the return of one of the world’s main cigar events.