Robaina's plantation

Thursday, 28 May 2020

San Antonio de Los Banos (Tobacco Growing Region) Near Havana

                The Spanish first saw tobacco grown in Cuba in the province of Holguin. Even though tobacco is still grown there centuries later, it's not used in the production of cigars for export. As the settlers moved across the island they realized that tobacco was grown wherever they established themselves and soon picked up the custom of cultivating the plant. Eventually, as they were always on the hunt for a better product, they established themselves in the Pinar del Rio area. It wasn't until the early 1700's but they finally discovered that the soil there produced the best quality tobacco.
                Along the way they had planted tobacco in and around Havana including the area of San Antonio de Los Banos. This area is part of the 'Partido' growning region and is known for it's production of wrapper leaf. It's considered one of the oldest tobacco growing regions that's still producing the plant today.
                I was aware of the fact that that tobacco was grown in and around Havana but didn't know that it was still being planted there today or of the value of it's results. The farm we visited was enormous and very obviously 'State Owned'. It seemed that no expense was spared in comparison to the farms I've visited in Pinar del Rio. Everything was clean and well organized with all the amenities that in some cases were lacking in Pinar.
                Of course, although they might produce a decent tobacco, I don't think it can be compared with tobacco grown in San Luis or San Juan y Martinez. I hooked up with the Habanos group for my visit of a farm in San Antonio de Los Banos and posted a few of the the pictures I took below.