Totalmente A Mano

Made, Not Manufactured

We follow Cuban traditions, so the most important tools at our rolling tables are not mechanical, but human. Our cigars are made completely by hand (totalmente a mano), using only a few basic tools to cut, seal and shape the tobacco. From there, quality testing happens in rounds, using only a single hand-operated machine to test the draw — air’s ability to move through each cigar.

The Factory

Tabacalera Pichardo in Estelí is a vibrant, wide-open space — an ideal environment for cigar making. Fermented tobacco has room to breathe, and so do the people who meticulously build every Atsiniki cigar. Tabacalera Pichardo founders Luciano Meirelles and Eradio Pichardo don’t believe in tight quarters and strict quotas. Instead, they work by a different rule: Taking good care of their people makes for better quality cigars.

The Master Blenders


Luciano Meirelles

Master Blender
Chicago, Illinois

Hailing from São Paulo, Brazil, Luciano Meirelles’s life-long passions include both cigars and wine. They inspire in him a thirst for knowledge, for discovering new flavors and nuances. Luciano first established himself in the cigar industry working with the government of the Dominical Republic, successfully introducing tax exemptions to some European and South American countries. Mentored by legends Ernesto Perez-Carrillo, Arsenio Ramos and Eradio Pichardo, Luciano is now a Master Blender with over a decade of experience, as well as a global entrepreneur, co-owner and founder of Tabacalera Pichardo. His outstanding palette and in-depth knowledge of cigars is widely known, as is his strength in revealing unique cigar insights and providing remarkable pairing experiences.


Eradio Pichardo

Master Blender
Estelí, Nicaragua

Eradio is fascinated with tobacco. A third generation tobacco farmer and agriculturist, he eventually started blending and managing a cigar factory in order to grow his skills beyond the fields. The hardest part of the business? Creating new, original blends, the challenge and passion that best suits Eradio’s spirit. A happily married father of three, Eradio sees his work with Atsiniki and with Arsenio Ramos — his friend and former colleague of nearly 18 years — as an opportunity to impart his legacy as a Master Blender and create something for the world to enjoy.


Arsenio Ramos

Master Blender
Pinar del Río, Cuba

The late, great Arsenio was humble, despite renowned industry status as one of the greats. He shared stories of walking tobacco fields, a young boy alongside his Father, doing simple jobs, earning more responsibility over time. He taste-tested cigars since age ten, and was a third-generation tobacco expert who witnessed firsthand the Cuban cigar industry’s evolution surrounding the 1960’s embargo. He knew tobacco science like no other, field to flavor, a hotspring of insights about balanced soil, leaf characteristics, blending formulas and ratios — priceless know-how, all colored by his Cuban cigar-making ancestry. We were honored to call Arsenio Ramos a friend and Master Blender for Atsiniki. Without him, our story would be incomplete.

The Makers

The people who make Atsiniki cigars are skilled craftsmen who love Estelí. They’re proud to call such a beautiful region home, and to share its richness through the fruits of careful labor. Their stories are our story; our mutual respect for well-crafted tobacco is our common ground. From the hands that roll every stick to the masterful eye of those testing for quality, our people’s expertise makes all the difference in our cigars.

The Method

From leaf selection to fermentation and aging, every step of making an Atsiniki cigar is guided by generations-old tobacco farmers and our Master Blenders. Every step is hand-done, each cigar hand-tested and measured for quality. By the time each cigar is finished, up to 350 careful hands have influenced the final product.

Making cigars is a the environment and to the smokers. We have to take care of both.

-Arsenio Ramos