Do you know the sensation of serene quiet while crossing the tobacco fields at 5 in the morning? Probably not, but that feeling … everyone deserves it.
The low-hanging mist that envelops the area in a haze clings cool to the skin. The smell of dewdrops mixed with that of the tobacco leaves. The surrounding quiet you hope will never end. A feeling you can’t grasp, but stays with you mysteriously long afterwards.
As a master blender, tobacco purchaser and product developer of one of the major cigar producers in the world, I had the opportunity to frequently experience this sensation through the past decades. This feeling has settled in my heart and will remain there. And you know what they say about what’s in your heart: It will stay there forever.
I felt privileged to be able to travel the world, visiting the best tobacco plantations, drying barns and factories. On these travels I was taught, in person, by the ‘masters of industry’ in the art of fomenting and blending of tobacco. I tried to acquire all the knowledge available. However, impressive and educational this may have been, it was the narratives of the people in the fields and factories that touched me most and made me reflect more. Through their stories I got a taste of their love for their product. They reminded me of my past, my childhood days. I am from a real gardeners’ family in which we learned from our early years that hard work and a down-to-earth attitude are crucial in achieving perfection in a product. Within our family I was the young creator who convinced my father to look around and try out new things.
As one of few I got the opportunity to develop my creativity at the Design Academy in Eindhoven. As a student I was soon fascinated by the search for consumers’ real needs. I have always come to the conclusion that people love a product of high quality and timeless, powerful design which they feel a connection with. The end-product must be perfect, with attention to every detail. No need to shout it out, just feel in order to enjoy.
Through the years I have been trying to capture my findings in a cigar. I really set about experimenting. Everything just a little different from the others. Many cigar enjoyment evenings with my friends followed. Their input was invaluable while they tasted my creations and were critical of every detail that just missed out. It was on one of these occasions when, while enjoying a good glass of Westvleteren brew, that I was urged to share my creations with a greater public.
I attempted to capture my narrative in a perfect cigar of unique design, which brings that one particular undefinable sensation. The feeling you can’t put your finger on but which you can only experience, the feeling I wish to share with everyone. Not every day, just when you hope to perpetuate that one happy moment and make it even better, like you savor a vintage bottle of champagne that had been awaiting you for a while. There’s no need to shout it out, just feel in order to enjoy, remember?
Our UNIQUE cigar making process
Harvest during dawn
We only hand-select the finest wrapper leaves during dawn. The leaves are covered with dew drops, which keeps the leaves moist and flawless
UP to 14 weeks slowly curing
In smaller controlled environments for curing, we extend the curing process, preserving carefully all the natural flavors and aromas
Low temperature fermentation
We keep the temperature in the fermentation piles as low as possible and take our time. Subtle developing and enhancing flavor and color
ONE of a kind
Our master blender, creates sophisticated cigars with subtle nuances and delicate characteristics and only highly trained cigar makers allowed to roll the cigars.
aging room preserved
All cigars stay for months in the aging room, unfolding the ultimate taste pallet. To preserve this moment, all single cigars are sealed in a special developed tubed humidor, capturing in time
Capturing in time
Lighting up a cigar straight from the aging room is the most satisfying moment. The tubed and sealed humidor captures this moment for many years.
Do you know the feeling you get when turning into your street and a smile shows on your face? Your heart rate rising when the kitchen smells reach your nose, knowing your wife and two kids are waiting for you? That’s the feeling called home.
The travels I was able to make to achieve more depth and become one with my product were only possible by having a home-base to support me. A place of resort, a home. I had Lovendael, a manor dating from 1486, with a wonderful history and memories.
A wind vane (a duck), found in the ancient vaults of Lovendael, now serves as the figurehead of my cigars. The layer of gold that was applied centuries ago had gradually worn off, but the shades are still visible. You can still notice that it was applied with care and eye for detail.
This also goes for the manor, with its creaky stairs, cracked walls and imposing spire. It was all conceived and built with care. It’s all about nuance and narrative.
Lovendael is a narrative and together with ‘ ‘my story’ Lovendael stands for a perfect cigar.
Create your own limited edition series with Lovendael