Virginia is a tobacco with a big leaf, with a colour that goes from lemon yellow to orange load, or even light brown, depending on the stalk. It is a tobacco that emanates a pleasing sweet aroma, of a caramelized sugar, and has a sweet taste, more or less robust depending on the content of nicotine; the basic aromatic difference varies according to the origin (spicy, nutty, etc. )
At the end of the vegetation period, the tobacco is harvested, as a rule, mechanically. In order to obtain the clusters of leaves with uniform characteristics, the tobacco is harvested, in successive steps, according to the stalk, starting over with those that have a lower insertion and climbing toward the upper stalks, as their maturity progresses.
The cure of Virginia is carried out with hot air (flue-cured) and is articulated in the following steps: yellowing, drying of the leaf blade, drying of the midrib. The stages are determined by a gradual increase of the temperature and reduction of moisture within the cells of cure (burn-curing).
The varieties of Burley is of light brown, hazelnut, and hazelnut load colours; it has a soft tissue, a typical aroma, and usually high combustibility. It is an excellent tobacco filler, which, due to the cellular structure of sponge-like, is suitable to easily absorb the tanning substances and flavourings that are used in certain mixtures of tobacco. It is characterised by the absence of sugars, and by the values of nicotine that, depending on the type and origin, may vary from 1.5 -1.8% to 4% approx.
The harvest can be done leaf by leaf, regardless if it is a whole plant or a mixed one. The harvest of each leaf allows the possible to obtain a product with a fair degree of ripeness. Whatever the method of collection, the different stalks must be grouped separately in order to obtain products well defined chemical composition and homogeneous organoleptic qualities.
The cure of Burley is of done through air-cured and is extended in time (contrarily to Virginia tobacco), to obtain a slow drying of the leaf. A cure performed correctly adds to the tobacco the typical and pleasant aroma. The cure is carried out in the shade, away from the sun’s rays, in a sheltered and ventilated spaces. These spaces have windows with adjustable closures to maintain the required levels of temperature (no less than 16 °C) and humidity (around 70 %).