Melanio Oliva first grew tobacco in Pinar Del Rio, Cuba in 1886. His growing cigar factory was closed while he fought in Cuba’s War of Independence. Upon his return from the war, Melanio resumed his growing. In the early 1920’s Melanio’s son Hipolito Oliva took over the growing operations. Hipolito cultivated the Oliva family fields for several decades. Hipolito’s son Gilberto Oliva shifted from growing to brokering tobacco. In the early 60’s the pressure became too great and Gilberto traveled from country to country in search of the distinct Cuban taste. His travels took him to Honduras, Panama, Mexico and even the Philippines. Gilberto finally found fertile ground in Nicaragua. Today Gilberto along with his family are Nicaragua's second largest grower of Cuban-seed tobacco, and one of the top cigar making family.
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