The world's most famous cigar trademark. The Montecristo
distributed in the U.S. today by Altadis USA is manufactured by hand at the Tabacalera de Garcia factory in La Romana, Dominican Republic. It is a medium to full bodied cigar with a sweet aroma and impeccable construction. The wrapper is Connecticut Shade, the binder is Dominican and the filler is a blend of Dominican long filler tobaccos.
Montecristo was originally made in Cuba by Alonzo Menendez and Pepe Garcia. After the revolution, Pepe Garcia bought Menendez’s shares, and established a company in the Canary Islands, Spain, called Compania Insular Tabacalera (CIT). Consolidated Cigar Company bought CIT in 1972, and moved production from the Canary Islands to the Dominican Republic at the request of their parent company, Gulf & Western, who owned land in La Romana.
In the mid 1970s, Pepe Garcia won a lawsuit in the U.S. to get the rights to his trademarks which he had owned in Cuba before the government seized them. The US Courts decided that Garcia was the rightful owner of Montecristo, H. Upmann, and Por Larrañaga. A partnership developed with Consolidated Cigar Company to help Garcia protect those trademarks. Other lawsuits followed, particularly in Spain and France.
The lawsuits in Europe were settled by a sale of the trademarks to Tabacalera, the former Spanish tobacco monopoly, and soon the world rights to those trademarks were transferred to Tabacalera, except for the United States and the Dominican Republic, which Consolidated Cigar Company and Pepe Garcia kept. Today, Tabacalera of Spain has bought Consolidated and become ALTADIS, a giant that has also 50% interest on most if not all Cuban brands made today, so it is safe to say that after a long history marked by revolution, litigations, and acquisitions the future of the Montecristo brand is finally one.