Long before they started releasing award-winning cigars under their own label, the Plasencia family was known for their green thumbs. Weathering revolution, emigration, war, and disaster, the Plasencias have been cultivating tobacco consistently since 1865. That means that Nestor Plasencia is the heir to a tobacco heritage that stretches back to before any current cigar brands existed except for Punch and H. Upmann. There's a whole lot of accumulated knowledge in those generations of tobacco farmers, which Nestor puts to good use on his own farms and in millions of cigars he produces each year. So next time you light up a Plasencia cigar, or a stick made with his tobacco (like Rocky Patel), think about the century-and-a-half of history that led to the remarkable stogie. A lot can happen in 150 years. So, what exactly is the story behind Plasencia cigars?
Early Years and Exile In 1865, Nestor's ancestor and the original patriarch of the family Don Eduardo Plasencia emigrated from the Canary Islands to start growing tobacco in Vuelta Abajo, Cuba. He operated a modest farm but was the one who got the ball rolling for the Plasencia family. In many ways, the story behind Nestor Plasencia's success starts with Don Eduardo's nephew Sixto Plasencia Juares and his son Sixto Plasencia, better known as Don Sixto. Don Sixto would lead the family through decades of enormous success and crippling setbacks. It's thanks to him that the Plasencia family's farms became one of the largest growing operations in the world. Sixto Sr. started expanding the family's operations as soon as he took over from his uncle in 1898, opening a second farm. His son took his father's lesson of expansion to another level when he took over in 1920, becoming the first Plasencia to export tobacco to foreign cigar companies. The Plasencia fortune grew steadily under Don Sixto until the Castro government seized the family's farm in 1963. Don Sixto fled with his family to Mexico and onward to Nicaragua, bringing with him just clothes and his precious seeds. But he wasn't one to let a little setback, like losing everything his family-owned, stop him from succeeding. Just two years after fleeing Cuba, Don Sixto planted his prize seeds at the family's new farm in Nicaragua. Over the next decade, he slowly but surely rebuilt his family's reputation and operations to become one of Nicaragua's largest tobacco farmers. But then, disaster struck again. In 1978, the Sandinista rebels burned Don Sixto's farms to the ground. The Plasencias once again had to start over with nothing, fleeing this time to Honduras just to the south of war-torn Nicaragua. There, Don Sixto reestablished the farming operation and continued to build international contacts. The Plasencia family had survived another existential threat and the stage was set for another patriarch to step forward and lead the family back to greatness.
Return to Nicaragua and International Renown In 1986, Nestor Plasencia took over the Plasencia tobacco operations from his uncle Herminio Plasencia, who had taken over from Don Sixto. Nestor was the first Plasencia to start manufacturing cigars on a large scale for other brands. While the family was still in exile in Honduras, he was producing over 1 million sticks a year. After four years, Nestor made the fateful decision to return to Nicaragua and reclaim his family's land. He wasted no time in expanding operations to a dazzling new level. As the cigar boom kicked off, Nestor Plasencia was producing 33 million cigars annually – an unheard-of increase over production just a few years earlier. As new brands sprung up to meet the growing demand for craft cigars in the US, they turned to Nestor Plasencia to produce their cigars. His enormous tobacco reserves and deep knowledge of his craft helped launch brands like Oliva, Rocky Patel, Alec Bradley, 5 Vegas, and Casa Magna to international fame. Today, the Plasencia company is the largest tobacco grower in the world. Nestor Plasencia oversees thousands of employees across 4 factories and 8 plantations, producing over 40 million cigars each year and contributing premium tobacco to countless other blends. He is considered the world's premier expert on tobacco cultivation and is a living legend within the cigar industry. And Nestor's sons are continuing the family's legacy. They launched Plasencia Cigars in 2017 with the acclaimed Alma series. Their blends have gotten a lot of attention in the last few years and the future is looking brighter than ever for the Plasencia family. Here’s to the next hundred years!
Shop Plasencia Alma Series Cigars Below: