In this cigar conversation from the 2012 IPCPR Trade Show, I talk with Brian Chinnock of Chinnock Cellars. Brian is both a winemaker and a cigar maker from California and has brought these two worlds together as no one has before.
In this conversation, Brian gives us some background of how he got involved in the cigar industry. It’s clear from our conversation Brian has a passion for both the wine and the cigar industries. While I’ve seen many people do “pairings” when it comes to wine and cigars, Brian has taken it a step further. He has integrated the technology and philosophy of the wine industry into his cigar making.
Brian works with some of the best people in the industry, including Willy Herrera (who is with Drew Estate, but still working with Brian) – and incorporating level 9 rollers into making his product. Brian will take us through his line of cigars. He starts out with the Chinnock Cellars Estate Blend. He discusses how this is meant to complement a nice red wine. He talks about how he ages the tobacco in French barrels and takes us through the cigar architecture.
Brian then discusses the Chinnock Cellars Terroir Series. The Terrior Series is intended to be a limited production cigar that will change on an annual basis. This is perhaps the area where Brian has incorporated wine technology into the cigar industry as no one else has before. Brian has used the technology involved with a foil capsule from a wine bottle to build a unique metal band. While a metal cigar band is nothing new, what you will see on the Terroir Series is a metal band that essentially has all of the characteristics of a paper band. We learn some of the origins of the cigar’s name and its connection to wine industry. Brian also takes us through some of the packaging considerations and architecture of the Terroir.
Finally, in our discussions on industry trends, Brian talks about the role the smaller boutique cigar makers are playing in with brick and mortar retailers.