Rick Meerapfel, the name behind the Cameroon wrapper

With a unique and incomparable flavor, blending spicy-sweet, chocolatey and coffee-like tones that bring a toasty, crisp aroma and silky feel to the experience, the Cameroon cape is one of the rarest, most prestigious and expensive wrappers in the world. Some believe it is the most exclusive wrapper on the planet.

Although it is also grown in other countries, such as Ecuador, top cigar makers use the leaf harvested in Africa because they consider the "real Cameroon" to come from that country. Unlike most premium wrappers, which are grown under tarps or tents to protect them, this leaf is grown in the sun in Cameroon, Central Africa, where the climate is more stable than in other areas and the light more uniform due to the constant cloud cover during the tobacco growing season.

The Meerapfels, a Jewish family of German origin, which has been present in all the important places of the tobacco industry (Indonesia, United States, Cuba and Central America), began to finance crops in that Central African country in the 1960s, when production was still under the French government. Later, when France pulled out of the operation in the 1990s, they founded their own local tobacco company called CETAC S.A. (Compagnie d'Exploitation des Tabacs Centrafricains), from which they organized production and introduced practices that revamped the way Central Africans grow and process their tobacco.

From CETAC, the Meerapfels worked with local producers to keep the flow of goods moving, and restored a steady supply of high-quality Cameroon tobacco.  Since then, Rick Meerapfel (1951-2003) became the master of Cameroon wrapper tobacco and the world's leading supplier of that rare leaf. Had it not been for his dedication and determination, Cameroon tobacco would most likely not exist. That is why it is said that he saved that precious wrapper from extinction.

Not only that, over time, the tobacco patented as Meerapfel Cameroon has improved and no one else has access to the seeds, to the point that one of his favorite slogans is: "if it's not Meerapfel, it's not Cameroon".

This wrapper covers some of Arturo Fuente's most prominent cigars, such as Fuente 8-5-8, the Don Carlos series, the Arturo Fuente Hemingway line and Casa Fuente. It can also be found in the Ashton Heritage Puro Sol, General Cigar's Partágas line, and a series from Aurora, the oldest cigar factory in the Dominican Republic.

The Merapfel legacy continues to reap success at the hands of Jeremiah and Joshua, sons of Rick, who pioneered the family business in Africa. Today they are one of the largest employers in the Central African country, with approximately 3,000 farming families working for them on nearly 3,000 fields (an average of ten people per family). In addition, about 3,000 people work at the centers throughout the year.

SURGEON GENERAL’S WARNING: Smoking Causes Lung Cancer, Heart Disease, Emphysema and May Complicate Pregnancy.
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