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Cigar Terminology: V–Z

Cigar Terminology: V–Z

In our last installment we learned some helpful cigar vocabulary beginning with the letters S–U. This week we continue with V–Z:

V CUTTER – Also known as a wedge cutter or a cat’s eye cutter, this has a v-shaped blade that gauges an opening in the head of the cigar. These cigar cutters were far more popular in the early 1900s and many antique models are designed for the smaller cigars of that era.

VISO – A grade of filler tobacco. Viso leaf is more powerful than seco and less powerful than ligero. It also tends to be thinner than ligero and thicker than seco. In some countries, this type of leaf is known as volado.

VITOLA – A cigar factory term for a cigar shape. Robusto and corona are two examples of vitolas.

WHEEL – A bundle of 100 cigars. Cigar rollers usually use ribbon to tie the cigars they produce into wheels. These are also known as ruedas.

WRAPPER – A high quality tobacco leaf wrapped around the finished bunch and binder of a handmade, premium cigar. Wrapper leaves need to be coddled and treated with the utmost car to avoid blemished and tears. Wrappers, when purchased, are the most expensive type of tobacco. Wrapper can be grown in many countries from wide varieties of seeds. The Spanish term for wrapper is capa.

YANKEE HINGE – Long, narrow boards on the side of a tobacco curing barn that run vertically and are hinged on top. These are found on tobacco barns in the Connecticut River Valley, which is why they are called Yankee hinges. They are swung open to lower the temperature in a barn and increase air flow when needed.

ZAFADORES – The Cuban term for workers who sort cigar tobacco. In a cigar factory, tobacco leaves are sorted in a variety of ways, including type of tobacco, size and color.

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