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The Heritage

Brazil was "discovered" in the year 1500 by Portuguese adventurer Pedro Alvares Cabral, who landed on the southern coast of what is now known as the state of Bahia. In 1549, Portugal established the state's capital, the port city of Salvador de Bahia. Little did the Portuguese know that Bahia was to contribute so much to the history and production of cigars.

Fast forward five centuries, and today Brazil is the world's largest producer of tobacco, averaging more than 700 thousand tons per year. Most of Brazil's tobacco is grown in the southern part of the country, and the best varieties (notably the prestigious Mata Fina cultivar) are grown in the Reconcavo Baiano, an exceptionally fertile area along the coast of Bahia.

 

Pedro Alvares Cabral Historical Tobacco Cultivation Hand-Crafted Cigar Bundles

 

Growing naturally in this area, tobacco was used by the natives as snuff, chewed, or smoked in a pipe. The Portuguese and Dutch colonies eventually realized there was great profit to be made with the beautiful, dark and flavorful tobacco leaves of the Reconcavo Baiano.

In 1842, Francisco Jose Cardoso, a Portuguese, installed in Sao Felix the first cigar making factory in Brazil. Shortly thereafter, dozens more factories were started all around the area. The production of Brazilian cigars flooded the European markets and lasted late into the 18th century.

Tobacco from Bahia is exported worldwide, and many established cigar companies in Latin America and the Caribbeans use Mata Fina and other Brazilian varieties to add unique flavor to their blends. However, over the years, Brazilian cigar production has steadily decreased while the lucrative export of the country's dark tobacco leaves has exploded. Today, traditional Brazilian puro premium cigars are only produced in limited quantities by specialty brands, such as Monte Pascoal.

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