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Whole Leaf Tobacco

Question about the WLT "Vuelta Abajo Ligero"

waikikigun

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#1
@fmgrowit @deluxestogie

Gentlemen: WLT features an item listed as "Cibao Valley Vuelta Abajo Ligero," of which I have just received a pound. But the label on my pound says "Cibao Valley Vuelta Abajo Habano Ligero."

@webmost has said elsewhere that when he ordered a pound of the "Cibao Valley Vuelta Abajo Ligero," it was labeled on the bag as "Vuelta Abajo Criollo Ligero."

But isn't "Vuelta Abajo" its own varietal, a type of "Oriental", and neither a Habano nor a Criollo? I'm confused about what I've got here in this bag, and why webmost got something labeled Criollo and I got something labeled Habano for the same SKU.

Thanks!
 

deluxestogie

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#2
I can't address the warehouse picking, shipping and labeling issues, but I will reiterate my understanding of Habano tobaccos.

In the early 20th century, Cuban tobacco growers did not start their own seedlings. They all purchased them from tobacco nurseries in Cuba, where attention to varietal purity was a low priority. So "Vuelta Abajo" tobacco was a mix of related variants. [The growers would wait for the plants to mature, then sort the primed leaf according to the variant.] Over the ensuing half-century, with attention to tobacco genetics, Corojo was developed from that diverse stock. Criollo is apparently also derived from that earlier Vuelta Abajo mix. Vuelta Abajo is Habano seed tobacco. Corojo and Criollo, as well as their later refinements, are now easily distinguished from generic "Habano" tobacco.

Among growers on this forum, "Vuelta Abajo" is restricted to one of the many ARS-GRIN Vuelta Abajo strains, and happens to be among the nicest of them. It was initially grown by Jitterbugdude, then distributed to members. That is the Vuelta Abajo variety now offered by Northwood Seeds.

None of these are "Oriental" tobaccos.

Vuelta Abajo Habano is Vuelta Abajo, in the generic sense. Criollo is, among other varieties, grown in the Cibao Valley. But I believe that "Vuelta Abajo Criollo" is a labeling error, although the terminology is not all that far off from its genetic roots.

Bob
 

Tutu

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#3
Adding to what Bob is saying there, and even though the Criollo thing might very well be a labeling error indeed, many farmers and companies here in the Cibao region often refer to Cuban seed which they grow as Criollo, as if it were a local tobacco. Whereas in reality, most of the seeds origins are found in Cuba (Criollo 98, Corojo 99, Piloto Cubano, Vuelta Abajo, H2000).
 

waikikigun

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#4
Thanks guys. Another dude has brought to my attention that he's got two bags of WLT "Vuelta Abajo Habano seco," but that on of the bags the word Habano was crossed out with a sharpie by the packing/shipping people.... so it seems like there's some uncertainty about something somewhere in the warehouse, maybe....
 

FmGrowit

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#6
Interestingly enough, I was asked by one of my suppliers if it really mattered if I received "Corojo", "Criollo", "Piloto", etc from the Dominican. I didn't have any idea how to reply and the sales rep continued..."most companies don't specify the actual variety. You are the only one who does".

I had never heard this before and simply told him "My customers know the difference".
 

waikikigun

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#8
Interestingly enough, I was asked by one of my suppliers if it really mattered if I received "Corojo", "Criollo", "Piloto", etc from the Dominican. I didn't have any idea how to reply and the sales rep continued..."most companies don't specify the actual variety. You are the only one who does".

I had never heard this before and simply told him "My customers know the difference".
That is freaking amazing.
 

Tutu

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#9
"most companies don't specify the actual variety.
That's a bold statement indeed. Certainly there are companies from Europe and the States that buy local Dominican tobaccos who do not need so much specification on the exact seed type as long as they know that it is some Cuban-like seed like the ones mentioned above. However, the vast majority of companies, especially local Dominican cigar producers, go to great lengths to get a specific seed line. Say they are looking for Criollo 98 and you can't supply a Dominican C.98, they'll rather look for a Nicaraguan C.98 than start to look for Dominican Corojo, Olor, or Piloto Cubano.

The point is, having seed variety separated is key to supplying the complete spectrum of customers. Those that don't are fooling themselves!
 
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#10
If I remember well, a few months ago, this consignment was listed as "Cibao Valley Vuelta Abajo Habano seco" or Habano Ligero on the website, and then the Habano part was dropped. I ordered some and it was also labeled like that on the bag. Amazing tobacco!
 
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