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Vincent Manil is the owner and curator of the Semois Tobacco Museum in Corbion.
Vincent Manil is the owner and curator of the Semois Tobacco Museum in Corbion..

One of the few growers of an almost forgotten product , Belgian-grown tobacco, is about to take america by storm.

 

Vincent Manil is the owner and curator of the Semois Tobacco Museum in Corbion, a small village near Bouillon in the Ardennes, on the banks of the Semois River. He’s gone from being a small-scale tobacco grower and producer of artisanal pipe and rolling tobacco to an international sensation practically overnight, thanks to a lengthy article in the New York Times Magazine in April. Thanks to that attention, he now gets regular visits from American tourists looking for a rare tobacco the magazine called « pungent and delicate… rich and savoury ». The Semois area used to produce more tobacco, but nowadays there are only three producers left. But that was before a journalist’s chance encounter with the product (in a car in the Barolo region of Italy) awoke a whole new public. One of writer Wil S Hylton’s only complaints was that it is impossible to buy Semois tobacco online. That problem could soon be solved : Manil is now working with the Wallonia Foreign Trade and Investment Agency to overcome the technical difficulties in making that possible.

 

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