Melanio Oliva cultivated his first tobacco crop in Pinar Del Rio, Cuba in 1886. His growing operations were suspended while he fought in the Cuban War of Independence. After returning from the war, Melanio resumed his tobacco growing operations. In the early l920’s Melanio’s son Facundo Oliva took over the growing operations. Facundo cultivated the Oliva family tobacco fields for several decades. As Cuba became overrun by the Communists, the tobacco landscape changed. Facundo’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 conditions to recreate that distinctive 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. Using these same time tested methods of curing, blending, and rolling that built an empire, the Oliva cigar lineup has garnered tons of top- ratings from industry experts and consumers alike, culminating with Cigar Aficionado Magazine awarding the Oliva Serie V Melanio Figurado Cigar of the Year in 2014.