Melanio Oliva first grew tobacco in Pinar Del Rio, Cuba in 1886. His growing operations were suspended while he fought in Cuba's War of Independence.
This story traces its roots to San Jose de las Lajas, Cuba, an agricultural and industrial municipality located 27 kilometers southeast of Havana, where Silvio Perdomo was raised.
When A. Fuente & Company was established in 1912, Arturo Fuente would have never dreamed his passion would become a global benchmark for the cigar industry.
The life of Davidoff Cigars is the life of Zino Davidoff. His brilliant savoir vivre infused all aspects of cigar craftsmanship and enjoyment. A visionary in all regards, Zino was a man who ensured time, like each of his cigars, was always beautifully filled.
Zino Davidoff is born in Kiev in 1906 to a long line of tobacconists. The rise of certain political factions spurred the family to move to Switzerland when Zino was just five. His father, Henri, opened Davidoff of Geneva, a fine tobacco shop.
Zino travelled to the lush hillsides of Central and South Americas and the Caribbean, where he immersed himself in the tobacconist’s rites of passage.
The farmers and labourers he met in the tropics taught him the rhythms of soil, sun and rain.
Now versed in field work, Zino returned to Europe as it prepared for war. He channelled the heightened energy of the era into his family’s store. Under Zino’s vision, the Davidoff family installed the world’s first climate-controlled room in the store in Geneva. His innovation is a hallmark of the tobacconist to this day.
As the war approached the shores of Lake Geneva, Zino maintained his verve. France feared for its tobacco stock against invading forces and approaches Davidoff of Geneva for assistance. Humbly, Zino acquires the Parisian inventory of Cuban Havana cigars, protecting them for Europeans to enjoy in later peacetime.
After the war, Zino’s store catapulted into prominence as a new, cosmopolitan hotspot, a place of warmth. Continually absorbed by his love of cigars and his drive to keep them at the peak of perfection, Zino then invented a new accessory. Inspired by memories of the sultry air of the tropics, he created a humidified box to preserve the richness of his tobacco. He called his sophisticated new contraption a “humidor.”
Montecristo is the name of two brands of premium cigar, one produced in Cuba for Habanos SA, the Cuban state-owned tobacco company, and the other produced in La Romana, Dominican Republic for the Franco-Spanish tobacco conglomerate Altadis SA, a division of Imperial Tobacco.
In July 1935, Alonso Menéndez purchased the Particulares Factory, makers of the popular Particulares brand and the lesser-known Byron. Immediately after its acquisition, he created a new brand named Montecristo.
The name for the brand was inspired by the Alexandre Dumas, père novel The Count of Monte Cristo, which was supposedly a very popular choice among the torcedores (cigar rollers) in their factory to have read by the lector on the rolling floor.
The now-famous Montecristo logo, consisting of a triangle of six swords surrounding a fleur-de-lis, was designed by John Hunter Morris and Elkan Co. Ltd., the brand's British distributor.
In July 1936, Menéndez founded a new firm with a partner, naming it Menéndez, García y Cía.
With the growing success of the Montecristo brand, the firm purchased the faltering H. Upmann Factory (created by Hermann Dietrich Upmann in 1844) from J. Frankau SA in 1937 and transferred Montecristo production there. J. Frankau continued as sole distributor of the H. Upmann brand in the UK, while John Hunter Morris and Elkan Co. Ltd. was the sole distributor of Montecristo in Britain. In 1963, these firms mergec to become Hunters & Frankau, which today is the sole importer and distributor of all Cuban cigars in the UK.
Through the efforts of Alfred Dunhill (the company), the Montecristo brand became incredibly popular worldwide and to this day accounts for roughly one-quarter of Habanos SA's worldwide cigar sales, making it the most popular Cuban cigar in the world.
Menéndez and García fled during the Cuban Revolution, and on September 15, 1960 after which the Montecristo brand, the factory, and all assets were nationalized iby the government of Fidel Castro.
Menéndez and García re-established their brand in the Canary Islands, but were later forced to quit due to trademark disputes with Cubatabaco (later known as Habanos S.A.).
In the mid-1970s, the operation was moved to La Romana in the United States possession of the Dominican Republic and released for the US market, since Cuban government rights to the brand were not recognized under American law due to the 1960 nationalization and subsequent embargo. Menéndez, García, y Cía is now owned by Altadis S.A., who controls its distribution and marketing in the United States.
With Menendez and Garcia gone after 1959, one of the top grade torcedores, José Manuel Gonzalez, was promoted to floor manager and proceeded to breathe new life into the brand. In the 1970s and 1980s, five new sizes were added: the A, the Especial No. 1 and 2, the Joyita, and the Petit Tubo. Three other sizes, the Montecristo No. 6, No. 7, and B, were released but subsequently discontinued, though the B can occasionally be found in very small releases each year in Cuba.
Through the 1970s and 1980s, Montecristo continued to rise in popularity among cigar smokers, becoming one of Cuba's top selling cigar lines.
The Montecristo No. 2 is the most popular cigar in the world market. In 2004 the Edmundo was added, a large robusto-sized cigar named for the hero of Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo, Edmond Dantès.
A new, lighter-bodied line was released at the 11th Habanos Festival in February 2009. The planned name for the new line had been Sport, but because of EU regulations prohibiting marketing tobacco with sports imagery, the name was changed to Open with vitola names inspired by sports such as golf and yachting.
Montecristo also produces three machine-made cigarillos: the Mini, the Club, and the Purito.
It all began from a very humble beginning when Jose Pepin Garcia and his family established a very small cigar factory in Little Havana in 2003. Jose Pepin Garcia could not have imagined at that moment that his love and passion for cigars would help him to build one of the most recognized companies in the cigar industry. His companies have become synonymous with highly rated and well-distinguished brands.
It all started in 1950 when Jose Pepin Garcia was born in Cuba. Just a few years later, barely 11 years old, he sat for the first time at a rolling table to roll his first cigar. Inspired by the spirit and tradition of a family who grew alongside tobacco leaves is where Jose Pepin Garcia was born and developed.
"It is about a lifelong passion! It is not just about a cigar, it is a dream – the Garcia's dream!" says, Jose Pepin Garcia.
On August 29, 2009 one of the most memorable moments in the Garcia’s life was the opening of My Father Cigars in Nicaragua, also known as the Garcia Family Industrial Park. A seven-acre complex with an installed production process, which enables the tobacco to be harvested, packaged and shipped to our retailers.
Don Pepin Garcia was recognized as “America’s Hottest Cigar Maker” by Cigar Aficionado in 2008 and his son Jaime Garcia have developed countless blends for My Father Cigars and for several of the most prestigious companies in the market.
Janny Garcia, Pepin’s daughter is in charge of the My Father Cigars headquarters. With great team leadership comes a great team accomplishment, the largest international recognition was granted by the cigar industry.
The Best Cigar of the Year for 2012 was given to Flor de Las Antillas.
The Garcia Family continues to follow the tradition they lived and learned in Cuba and proudly own two factories, the headquarters in Doral, which is a boutique factory with a team of twelve expert cigar rollers trained by Don Pepin himself. The other is the Garcia Family Industrial Park in Estelí, Nicaragua with more than three hundred cigar rollers. Both factories are responsible for the twelve company owned brands that exist in the marketplace today.
The Garcia Family blends are uncompromisingly robust and aromatic, recognized for their distinct combination of strength, richness and spicy aroma along with a heavy finish. The construction is a very meticulous handcrafted cigar with a beautiful wrapper and a traditional triple-cap finish.
Pepin’s traditions, heart and soul go into every cigar we make. The strict execution of time-tested Cuban cigar making methods ensure that every cigar we make provides the best possible smoking experience.