Tony Bellatto, best known for his La Barba line of cigars, has announced the launch of a new company: Bellatto Premium Cigars, a project in which he is partnering with his father, Gene.

Bellatto said that the company will be a new and original brand that is separate from his previous ventures into the cigar industry, but that doesn’t mean that the La Barba brand is going way. In fact, it will be getting at least one more new release.

But he will also be launching cigars under the Bellatto Premium Cigars name, and has confirmed plans for three core lines and a limited edition product, which are scheduled to be announced in the spring of 2022. Bellatto added that he hopes to have the cigars shipping to stores during the middle of the spring. As for the factories producing the lines, he told halfwheel that he is working with Tabcalera William Ventura in the Dominican Republic, which has produced several of his La Barba lines. He is also working with other factories for some of the new releases, and said that they will be announced once the cigars are announced.

Distribution of the cigars will be handled by Down & Back LLC, which currently distributes La Barba.

“La Barba Cigars has been a great adventure for me, it was my dream,” Bellatto said via a press release. “I couldn’t be more proud of what we’ve made, it’s been the fulfillment of that dream. Now, a decade later, I have new dreams, new ideas—those need a fresh start to find their way,” he added.

Those new cigars are being described as a line of elevated products that more deep incorporate aspects of Bellatto’s experiences, which include being a Wine & Spirits Education Trust Level 3 sommelier.

Bellatto’s father, Gene, is no stranger to the cigar industry, having more the 50 years of “experiential knowledge” according to a press release, and has owned three brick-and-mortar cigar shops in northeastern Ohio. He also has experience in developing house blends for cigar shops as well as importing and distributing a national brand in the early 2000s.

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Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and previously the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for Major League Baseball, plus I'm a voice over artist. Prior to joining halfwheel, I covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.