When we hear the name “Davidoff,” we think of high-end cigars with a pretty hefty price tag that are associated with the more refined, luxurious things in life. But, do we think about the man himself who created them? Probably not. Really, this is a shame, because the history of this legendary cigar brand is pretty fascinating and knowing it can help us enjoy these wonderful cigars on a much deeper and more intimate level.
So, how did Davidoff become the brand that it is today? Well, it all started with Zino Davidoff, the man who was determined to create exceptional smokes for the world to enjoy. And enjoy we still do.
How it All Started
Zino Davidoff was born in 1906 to a cigar manufacturer operating out of Kiev, which, at the time, was part of Russia. Davidoff’s father was actually quite legendary himself, especially once he decided to relocate with his family to Switzerland in order to launch a tobacco shop. This tobacco shop did quite well, and was a popular spot among famous people of the day, including Lenin during the time he was exiled.
Zino was heavily influenced by his father, and from a young age, he knew that the tobacco industry was his future. He was happy to follow in his father’s footsteps, having seen the success that his father enjoyed. So, at the age of 19, he decided to travel Latin America with the sole purpose of learning more about tobacco. He spent a considerable amount of time in Cuba, especially as the tobacco industry was thriving there.
Clearly, Zino’s traveling experience led to a much deeper knowledge of what it takes to craft the most perfect cigars possible. So, when he returned to Switzerland to work with his father, he was able to use a lot of the incredible knowledge he got from Latin America to further his father’s success. He was capable of developing intoxicating tobacco blends that were highly unique at the time for that part of the world. He also developed innovative techniques for storing tobacco, for wrapping cigars and for marketing the products.
Thanks to Zino, the Davidoff family business took off like never before. This is largely thanks to Zino’s first two cigar lines: the Grand Cru and the Chateau. It didn’t take long before the Davidoff name was synonymous with luxury, and the clientele gradually became wealthier and wealthier, meaning that the company could now pull in incredible profits while enjoying a superior reputation among cigar enthusiasts. Eventually, Zino took over his father’s shop as his father became too old to work.
In 1967, Cubatabaco asked Zino to create a cigar utilizing Cuban tobacco, and this proved to be an enormous success. From there, he developed more cigars utilizing Dominican tobacco, which at the time was only just becoming popular worldwide.
If there’s one thing that Zino never compromised on, it was quality. As his business grew and grew, he found that the consistency in quality was beginning to suffer. So, without considering any other option, he burned the cigars that he believed were inferior in quality, and then relaunched his facility in the Dominican Republic. This bold move proved to be a smart one, as it allowed him to produce a broader range of high-end lines, and the business took off like never before.
Today, Davidoff is one of the most sought-after brands in the cigar world. As you can see, this has everything to do with Zino’s devotion to his business. The quality remains just as high as it was decades ago, and we all have Zino to thank.