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History of Partagas
4 August 2019

History of Partagas

Partagás Serie D No.4
The Catalan Don Jaime Partagás y Ravelo (Arenys de Mar, 1816 – Vuelta abajo, Cuba, 1868) was the son of Jaume Partagás (tailor) and Teresa Ravelo.[1] He migrated to Cuba in 1831 and worked for Lloret de Mar businessman, Joan Conill in Havana.[1] Establishing his own factory, La Flor de Tabacas de Partagás in 1845, at 1 Cristina St.[2] in Havana (later relocated to Calle Industria), Don Jaime owned many of the best plantations in the Vuelta Abajo tobacco-growing region of Cuba.[1] Don Jaime’s ability to choose from among the finest tobaccos on the island, and an instinct for blending and fermenting tobaccos made the brand incredibly successful.[1] Don Jaime is also legendarily credited with hiring one of the first lectors to read to and entertain the cigar rollers as they worked.

Don Jaime was murdered on one of his plantations in 1868[2] and his son José Partagás took over the business.[1] Later the factory and brand were sold to banker José A. Bances.[1] In 1899, Bances invited Ramón Cifuentes Llano (1854-1938), a talented tabaquero from Ribadesella Spain – to join him as partner.[1] Bances sold his remaining shares to Cifuentes the following year.[1] Cifuentes took over management of Partagás with José Fernández López and was joined in 1916 by the Galician vegas owner and leaf wholesaler, Francisco Pego Pita, who in turn sold the company to Cifuentes, Fernández y Cía in 1900.[1] In 1916, Don José Fernández left the firm and Ramón Cifuentes Llano joined with Francisco Pego Pita to form Cifuentes, Pego y Cía.[1] In 1927, it acquired the rights to the Ramón Allones brand; at some unknown point the factory began to produce a brand in its own name, Cifuentes.

Ramón Cifuentes Llano died in 1938 and Pego in 1940, leaving his three sons in charge of Partagas. Ramón Cifuentes Toriello and his two brothers continued to build the increasingly prestigious factory and brand, and renamed the company Cifuentes y Cía. In 1954, the Cifuentes family acquired the Bolívar and La Gloria Cubana brands from José F. Rocha and moved their production to the Cifuentes factory. By 1958 Partagás was second only to the H. Upmann company in exporting Cuban cigars, accounting for over a quarter of all exported tobacco goods.

On September 15, 1960, Fidel Castro’s revolutionary Cuban government seized 16 cigar factories, including the Partagas factory and related assets.[3] At 6:30PM, soldiers entered the Partagas fabrica and encountered Ramón Cifuentes Toriello.[3] “They came inside and said, ‘We’re here to intervene the company,’ Cifuentes recalled in 1991. “And they didn’t allow me to take anything from there.”[3] The Partagás brand was later selected for continued production under Cuban state government control, first by Cubatobaco and later Habanos S.A.

Before and after the Cuban Revolution, the Cuban-produced Partagás has continued to be one of Cuba’s best-selling cigar brands. By the middle 1990s it was second in sales only to Montecristo, with annual sales of approximately 10 million cigars.[4]

The old Partagás Factory in Havana, since renamed “Francisco Pérez Germán”, was responsible for the production of much of the brand until it was relocated 3km from Havana Vieja. A new factory now produces most vitolas. Both locations are popular tourist destinations for cigar smokers vacationing in Cuba.[4] The move to the new factory took place on January 2, 2012.[2]

In 2002, Altadis bought a controlling share in the Cuban government-owned cigar distributor, Habanos SA, and instituted a number of changes in cigar production. Among them was gradually turning the various brands of Cuban cigars to either all-handmade or all-machine-made lines, reducing the number of redundant sizes within a brand, and eliminating many low-selling cigars. Many of Partagás lesser-known handmade and all machine-made cigars were cut from production. Today, all Cuban Partagás cigar vitolas are hand-made.

Since the introduction of the Edición Limitada annual releases, Partagás has produced a special size almost every year: the Pirámide in 2000, the Serie D No. 3 in 2001, the Serie D No. 2 in 2003, the Serie D No. 1 in 2004, a reissue of the Serie D No. 3 in 2006, and the Serie D No. 5 in 2008. In 2005, Partagás introduced a pyramid, the Serie P No. 2.

Ref: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia

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