Jose Blanco joins Arturo Fuente International. Blanco will be the director of sales for the eastern hemisphere. Arturo Fuente International is the company launched by Fuente and its international distributor Meerapfel last September. The Meerapfel family and the Fuente family have been very close for forty years.
Tobacco broker Richard Meerapfel and cigar manufacturer Carlito Fuente met in the late 1970s. An instant friendship was born, as they had the same passion for tobacco, about family, about culture, about love, and life. Two tobacco families, generations active in the business, formed a bond. A bond to grow the best tobacco in the world, and to make the best cigars in the world. Tobacco from Cameroon, cigars from the Dominican Republic. And don’t compromise on the quality, never compromise.
And now Jose Blanco joins the Arturo Fuente International team. He is an experienced industry veteran with more than 20 years of experience in the cigar industry. But before he became the sales manager for La Aurora, he was already part of their tasting panel for years. Blanco moved up within La Aurora to become the blender of several La Aurora releases. The La Aurora 100 Años, the 1495 series, the 107 and the La Aurora Barrel Aged series are blended by Blanco.
After his retirement from La Aurora, Blanco started to work for Joya de Nicaragua. Together with Dr. Martinez Cuenca, he blended the Cuenca y Blanco. That cigar was later renamed to CyB due to copyright issues. Both the Cuenca and the Blanco names were already registered for tobacco products. With his wife Emma Viktorsson he founded Las Cumbras Tabaco. And the last three years, Blanco was the sales director for Ernesto Perez-Carrillo and his EPC brands.
In a statement to Cigar Aficionado, Blanco said ““We have many interesting and great plans for Fuente International. I love traveling and am thrilled to live in and work from Europe. What I truly feel is that at the finish-line in this industry, to arrive at this position for Fuente is like the ultimate graduation.” Blanco will be responsible for Europe, East Asia and possibly Africa.