With nearly 100 years in the cigar industry, there are few names that inspire admiration quite like Davidoff. Founded in 1911 by a Russian born Jew by the name of Zino Davidoff, the company wouldn’t turn its hand to the cigar trade until 1924. His base of operations, Geneva, Switzerland, was a hotbed for cigar smoking and with a sharp eye for business, Zino’s ambitious goals were met.
After the end of World War 2, as the turbulence subsided, Zino decided the time was right to procure a licence and start to manufacture his own line of cigars. Cleverly marketed, the cigars would be premium hand rolled cigars of high quality, each line bearing the name of a famous French wine estate. The “Chateau Latour” was released in 1946, being the first of “The Chateau” range to go to market.
The Cuban Years
Over the next two decades the brand’s reputation grew, eventually gaining the attention of Cubatabaco, the Cuban state ran cigar business. In 1968 they approached Zino with a proposal, the creation of a new brand bearing the Davidoff name.
A deal was made and the new cigars underwent the design and creation process at the world famous El Laguito factory in Cuba. This new phase of the brand enabled Davidoff to expand its reach, becoming a global name in the cigar world.
Davidoff’s partnership with Cubatabaco lasted for almost two decades, but eventually the two would separate and Davidoff would look for a new source of high quality tobacco. The Dominican Republic would become the new base of operations for Davidoff cigar production, the final Cuban Davidoff cigars were sold in 1991, by which point Davidoff had already created multiple test runs in anticipation of the changeover.
New Horizons, New World
The new Dominican Davidoff cigar range was launched as the “Grand Cru”, a line that is still available today. As with the Cuban lines, the Grand Cru featured premium tobacco, rolled by hand. Only three years after the launch of the Grand Cru, Zino Davidoff, founder and family patriarch, would pass away in the place he loved most, Geneva.
Zino’s legacy would live on, in 2001 a new range dubbed the “Millennium Blend” was released to commercial success, a sign that even without the watchful eye of Zino, the company could still excel in creating new, exciting blends. This point would only be proven further in 2013 when Davidoff released their first cigar range incorporating Nicaraguan tobaccos.
The popular reception of these cigars was heard loud and clear by the company, and a new avenue had been opened. Other tobacco producing countries became more alluring to the Davidoff company and their portfolio started to display a greater diversity of nationalities represented in their blends.
Winston Churchill Range
In 2014 the “Winston Churchill” range was released. The name is a homage to the famous British wartime prime minister of the same name. When creating this blend the team at Davidoff displayed their knowledgeable use of blending contrasting tobacco, opting to use leaves from 4 different countries.
The Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Mexico and Ecuador were all selected for their varied benefits. Dominican & Nicaraguan tobacco being utilised for its rich and luxurious filler, Mexico for its superb quality binder leaf and Ecuador for its eye-catching wrapper leaf. These cigars have gone on to be some of the most popular Davidoff cigars in recent years.
This is an on-the-go cigar that pays homage to Winston Churchill and his love of adventure. It features tobacco from all around the world, but mainly from the Dominican Republic. Smooth and balanced with notes of cocoa, coffee, pepper and cream.
If you would like to read more about Davidoff there are some insightful and entertaining articles contained within issues of Cigar Journal, a popular bilingual German & English cigar magazine.
From interviews with integral Davidoff figures such as Beat Haustein to an in depth look at how the Davidoff star rating system works, these magazines are packed full of esoteric cigar information that any cigar fan will be giddy to indulge in.