The western province of Pinar Del Rio in Cuba is noted for producing some of the finest cigar tobacco. The little town of Vinales is a favorite destination of mine.
In late January and early February the tobacco is harvested by hand.
The leaves only have a short span of optimal quality. A few days one way or another can make a huge difference. It takes skill to know which leaves to cut and when.
Of course, all the work is done by hand.
A razor sharp hook-knife is used to lop off the chosen leaves just below a split in the stalk.
This allows the cuttings to hang freely over a pole. Later the poles are stacked in a barn to dry and cure.