Romeo y Julieta
Developed in 1875 by Inocencio Alvarez and Mannin Garcia, this brand immediately showed its quality by winning gold medals in four universal expositions between 1885 and 1900. But it really took off after its acquisition in 1903 by Jose Rodriguez Fernandez, known as “Pepin.” Named for the lovers in William Shakespeare’s tragedy of the same name (written circa 1596), the brand also is traditionally credited with the introduction of the “Churchill” shape in honour of the British statesman Winston Churchill (note the name of the factory shape for this size: the “Julieta 2.”). Fernandez promoted his brand with endless energy and at one time, his Rodriguez, Arguelles y Cia. factory produced upward of 2,000 different cigar bands, personalized for their very best customers. Fernandez died at age 88 in 1954, but his efforts survive him as his full-flavoured Romeo y Julieta brand is one of the most widely known and appreciated in the world today.