Chances are when you think of Brazil, you think of the Amazon rainforest. The rainforest doesn’t cover the entirety of the huge South American country though, which is almost as large as the US. Agriculture is a major industry in Brazil, and one of Brazil’s most important products is tobacco. Brazil may not get a lot of attention for its cigar wrappers, but it’s been a huge cigar manufacturer for hundreds of years. Jon Huber, ex-marketing director C.A.O. and current owner of Crowned Heads, has been quoted as saying that “Brazil is actually the leading nation in tobacco export in South America. The climate is quality.”
Huber describes the two types of tobacco which are grown in Brazil. The first is the Bahia leaf and the second is the Arapiraca. The Bahia leaf is described as a full-flavored tobacco leaf which has a strong aromatic quality. The Arapiraca on the other hand is a dark brown maduro color and doesn’t have the same powerful aroma. This maduro wrapper is smooth, sweet and subtle. It can add complexity to a cigar without compromising on strength, but can still come across as restrained instead of harsh. This has prompted Alan Rubin of Alec Bradley Cigar Company to choose it as a wrapper leaf for lighter maduro cigars in his Trilogy line. There are two more major growing zones in Brazil: Mata Fina (in general, it has a unique earthy aroma and natural sweetness, different from the typical Maduro flavor profile) and Mata Norte.
So while Brazil is not the best known country in the world when it comes to cigars and wrapper leaves, it’s a country which produces some unique tobacco. It may not get the same attention as Cuba, but connoisseurs are constantly searching for new flavors and aromas to enjoy, which means that more and more cigar manufacturers are turning their sights to Brazil to get new ideas and types of tobacco. Look to Brazilian wrappers for future trends in cigars.