© Vamma del Sol

Meet the Greeks
Vamma Del Sol

Premium Handmade Cigars from Olympus

Address: Krya Vrysi village, Pella Telephone: 0030.23820.61223 Website: Vammadelsol.com

Ares Constantinides, an agro-economist and farmer from Pella, is a fine graduate of Finance and Accounting and has a Master degree in Argricultural Economics. Along with his brother, Costas who served as the president of Young Farmers and he was a key representative of the European Organization of Young Farmers, and their parents, who were traditional tobacco farmers for decades, decided to set up the first Greek cigar production industry. Armed with all the necessary knowledge, Constantinides’ brothers launched the first premium cigar brand in Europe.

Vamma del Sol, the brand name of the cigars, might not represent the identity of the product since vamma is a Greek word that means spirit while del sol is a Spanish phrase meaning the sun. By combining, though, two languages and two cultures that host the same feed, the Vamma Del Sol cigars offer a unique combination of aromas. The idea of the name was born since the seed of Vamma Del Sol has an origin from Latin America and the Constantinides’ brothers wanted to showcase the journey of tobacco from Spain to Greece.

Since the Greek tobacco has always been the spice of American Blend, due to its distinct quality and flavor, the Constantinides’ brothers decided to enter a new period for Greece, the world of cigar production, since no other product existed on Greek or European soil. Thus, they started researching in finding the best varieties from Greece and abroad with recommendations from the Research and Development Institute of the Ministry and the Tobacco Board.

The sudden legislative changes of 2007, where tobacco production was disconnected from the European Union’s subsidies, led to the violent cessation of tobacco production and the disappearance of a sector in Greece, which was key pillar of national income for decades.

By managing to create an institutional legal framework for all aspiring producers, as it is the only company that produces cigars in Greece, the Constantinides’ brothers aim was to re-position tobacco production in the Greek countryside by establishing new market conditions.

Constantinides’ brothers managed to modify the relevant law 39/43 31/3/2011, and gave this brand-new opportunity to anyone interested in creating small production units of tobacco products. It was then that Aris decided to discover all the secrets for cigar production. The destination was inevitable: Cuba!

The journey of Vamma del Sol started just like a dissertation project in 2006. Initially, they had to control the primary production, and more specifically the selection of cigar leaves. At the same time, Constantinides’ brothers created a processing research, which is how a fine cigar is produced. The two brothers changed the methods of cultivation in their fields, by bringing new varieties of tobacco. It is very interesting that the cigar was found with very distinctive characteristics in flavor and aroma when it was sent to the United States for testing. Along with the tobacco leaves, the idea matured and the entire plan for the development of the cigar industry fall into place.

Equipped with the knowledge and experience in the tobacco industry from their previous generations, the Constantinides’ brothers have adopted fine agricultural practises in their production, as the tobacco leaves are the best raw material. Following the production process, which extends in a region of ten acres with a yield of 200 kilos per acre, and the drying process of the leaves in the privately owned facilities, they let the tobacco leaves aging for two to three years, in order to showcase the natural way of the flavors and aromas of their land. Thereafter, the appropriate process takes place in order to reach the tobacco in its final form. At this stage, they choose to elaborate the best tobacco leaves and categorize them based on the location that each of them will have within the cigar.Thus, the synthesis of a cigar with fillers take place in the first wrapper. Finally, after taking their final form, the cigars remain in humidifiers for at least six months before reaching the boxes of tobacconists.

The mild Mediterranean climate of Greece is one of the main competitive advantages of Vamma del Sol, since it can be of great assistance in the production of handmade cigars. The ideal microclimate surely guarantees an excellent product with high quality characteristics, specifically from the Oriental leaves used for the Cuban cigars.

Vamma del Sol is a fully autonomous production unit with in house operations of organic cultivation, processing, packaging and distribution. The main difference between Vamma del Sol cigars as compared with cigar species originating from Saint Dominco, Nicaragua or Cuba, is that the cigars are produced in the same region. From the seed to the earth and its final form, the responsibility, supervision and processing takes place from the Constantinides brothers. The tobaccos of Vamma Del Sol are grown in accordance with the codes of practice of the European Union, that is without chemicals or flavourants, the first biological cigars!

Today, Vamma del Sol produces twenty to thirty thousands cigars per year. The Constantinides’ brothers endeavor to win the market by increasing their production. Their vision is to create a competitive advantage for Vamma del Sol cigars, and claim a position in the Greek and international markets.

The key objectives of the founders of Vamma Del Sol are the expansion of the cigar series and their expertise. Constantinides’ brothers are not interested in mass production, as their focus is to maintain the uniqueness of handmade cigars. Their main aspriration is to revive the tobacco market in Greece, from Agrinio to Komotini.

It is worth mentioning that Vamma del Sol is the first handmade premium cigars in Europe.Vamma del Sol cigars can be found in tobacconist shops in Athens, Thessaloniki, Kavala, Larissa and Crete as well as orders can be made through the website of the company.