The Ventura Family

Nate Simonds

Henderson Ventura started working in the cigar business when he was 17 years old, working with his dad at Tabacalera William Ventura.  His father William Ventura is cigar royalty in the Dominican Republic, having worked in various roles (Head of Quality Control, Chief of Factory, etc) for Davidoff for over 20 years. During his tenure at Davidoff, William had the opportunity to collaborate with both Zino Davidoff and Eladio Diaz to help create some of the most well known Davidoff blends. Henderson grew up spending much time with his dad, creating unique cigar blends at just 19 years old and inspired by his dad’s blending style that was a different profile than typical Dominican blenders that merged Nicaraguan and Dominican profiles.

When William decided to open his own factory in 2007, Henderson Ventura entered the cigar business full time. Starting off as the factory manager, Henderson was intimately involved in every aspect of producing a cigar, from inspecting the tobacco as it came into the factory and aged, to quality control on finished product. The cigar business has been an integral part of the family dynamic, as the entire family has and continues to work in the cigar business. In 2016 after assisting many award winning boutique brands (such as Caldwell Cigars and Room101) with the creation of their cigars, Henderson decided to partner with Marcel Knobel to create their own brand - ADVentura cigars. Marcel was a Swiss cigar retailer, coffee producer and certified Wine Sommelier.

Marcel’s background was in marketing and wrote the ADVentura brand story which follows two adventurers - Ventura and Mckay - as they leave Europe and cross the Atlantic Ocean in search of riches. They land in the Dominican Republic to find the passion and soul the land provided - The Explorer, Navigator and Conqueror. Later they return to Europe and present their found riches to the King and Queen - The King’s Gold and Queen’s Pearls.

Originally distributed only in Switzerland and the Dominican Republic, ADVentura expanded to US distribution in 2018. The first release from ADVentura was the Explorer which showcased a Habano wrapper, followed by the Navigator which showcased a Mexican San Andres wrapper, and finally the Conqueror which showcased the H2000 wrapper. These blends demonstrated the passion they both have for the cigar industry and combined tradition with new flair offering complex flavor and full palate stimulation. A few years later, ADVentura finally caught the attention of the industry with the King’s Gold and Queen’s Pearl’s Royal Releases - cigars fit for royalty. These blends were both unique takes on 2 popular wrappers - Connecticut Broadleaf and Shadegrown Connecticut. Both of these cigars have earned multiple 90+ ratings and top 5 cigar of the year honors.

In October of last year the Ventura family and ADVentura went through a devastating event - the complete loss of the William Ventura factory from an electrical fire. This fire resulted in the loss of over a million cigars. Equally as impactful as the loss of the cigars was the loss of bands and cigar boxes which can take months to arrive at manufacturers. Thankfully, much of the tobacco was stored offsite and production quickly resumed at the smaller El Maestro factory that had previously been utilized for smaller boutique productions. The timing couldn’t have been worse, as just before the fire, ADVentura had released its first separate Limited Edition line: La Llorona and their first regular production release since the Queen’s Pearl and King’s Gold: Barborojas Invasion. Both of these cigars had received much attention at the annual Premium Cigar Association tradeshow, quickly sold out and represented a step outside their comfort zone for the brand.

The Ventura family continues to invest in the future, rebuilding a larger upcoming factory as well as starting to grow their own tobacco to be used in future ADVentura releases. Looking to become completely vertically integrated like other great cigar manufacturers, the tobacco will be grown, fermented, aged and rolled in-house. While the farm has harvested its first crops, the meticulous fermentation and aging process demands it will be at least 4 years before tobacco from this field will be used in any upcoming blends.

ADVentura is a brand that is looking to move the industry forward for a new generation of cigar smokers. They balance traditional construction and aging techniques with new styles of marketing and blending. While Henderson’s heart still resides in the factory, now he spends much of his time on the road promoting the ADVentura brand. When he is back in the factory he spends his time perfecting blends for upcoming releases.  Henderson’s goal is to function as a liaison to modern cigar smokers, listening to what they are looking for in cigars and creating blends to meet these demands. With this dedication to quality and commitment to forward thinking, you can be confident that ADVentura will be here for years to come.

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