Chapter 4. Sorting & Fermentation

Sorting the tobacco

Chapter 4


Our cigars are premium inside and out. But it’s not just the quality that makes it premium; it’s the delicate nature in which each individual tobacco leaf is sorted. After curing and prior to fermentation, every single leaf must be classified as either: wrapper, binder, or filler.




Filler leaves are the heart and soul of our cigars. Located in the center of the cigar, these smaller leaves are responsible for the rich, distinct flavors found in every puff of a Rocky Patel premium cigar.



Binder leaves wrap around the filler leaves, holding them together, sealing in the bold taste that makes our cigars the best.

RP_Honduras_March 12_DSC5778


Wrapper leaves are the last and outer most layer to our cigars and are the absolute finest tobacco leaves in existence. A wrapper leaf is pristine with no water spots or tears, minimal veins and an even color. Nature’s beauty and man’s ingenuity are truly realized in every single leaf.


At the Sorting Tables

The Gallery



Chapter 4.5


After the curing process, the real healing can begin in fermentation. Fermentation is designed to remove unwanted nutrients within the leaves to supply a clean fresh tobacco flavor. The process begins with the rehydration of every leaf.

Once the tobacco is evenly dampened, it is placed by hand into large stacks called pilons. Weighing approximately 2,500 pounds, each of these pilons utilizes their immense weight to create pressure. This coupled with the added moisture of the leaves, creates heat - allowing the tobacco to ferment, releasing all of the nutrients that were used to grow the leaf: leaving the leaves with a clean tobacco taste.


Each individual pilon rests in place until it reaches a certain temperature (110-130 degrees). Then, the pilon is rotated into the next resting position. The pilons are flipped from top, to middle, to bottom, every 7-10 days to ensure that the leaves are evenly dried out. This painstaking process takes anywhere from six months to more than a year. That’s time well worth it.


Q. How heavy is the average Pilon?

End of Chapter 4 - Continue on to:

  • Chapter 5

    Rolling Room

    The Rolling Room


    Once the tobacco is up to our standards it’s finally time to start rolling. Rolling a cigar is the process of constructing the filler, binder, and wrapper into a single form...

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  • Chapter 6

    Quality Control Room

    Quality Control Room


    Once rolled, each cigar goes through a series of quality control steps. Every cigar is carefully examined to guarantee that only excellence gets our stamp of approval...

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  • Chapter 7

    Aging Room

    Aging Room


    After quality control, the cigars are sent to an aging room for a minimum of 90 days. This final aging period allows for the different layers of tobacco within the cigar to fuse together...

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  • Chapter 8

    Judging Aesthetics

    Quality Control on Aesthetics


    After the aging room, each cigar goes through yet another round of quality control. We sacrifice nothing when it comes to flavor. We don’t cut corners and we don’t compromise. We make every effort, no matter how tedious, to clean up any and all rough edges...

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  • Chapter 9

    Boxed Pressed

    Boxed Pressed


    After the second quality control, a cigar may journey down a number of different roads. The first choice of which is if the cigar is box-pressed or not. Box-pressed cigars are a specialty that...

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  • Chapter 10

    Banding & Boxing

    Banding & Boxing


    Whether box-pressed or left round, our cigars are then branded with our label. Carefully, decisively and proudly we band each of our cigars. The band is not just a label to queue what tastes will be revealed within the cigar, it is a testament to the labor and craftsmanship that went into every individual leaf...

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We put a lot of love into our cigars. When we brand and box them with the Rocky Patel logo, it’s not just for the purpose of sale. It’s an opportunity to pay homage to a living legend. And it’s our chance to say, “goodbye, good luck, and make us proud.”

Rocky Patel Logo