Tobacco is native to Cuba, and grown and picked in several regions of the Island, but mostlyin the meadows of Vueltabajo, in Pinar del Río.
The tobacco plant is very delicate; its cultivation requires technique and the basic experience of the proud tobacco growers. The tobacco drying houses are a landmark in the landscapes of the meadows. They are built on a very high prop, made of wood, palm leaves and guano and positioned east to west to receive sunlight in the early hours of the morning. The tobacco was known as “the Queen’s grass” until Linneo, the Swedish naturalist, namedthe gender Nicotine, in honor of Nicot.
The first distillation of rum took place on the sugarcane plantations of the Caribbean in the 17th century. Plantation slaves first discovered that molasses, a by-product of the sugar refining process, fermented into alcohol. Later, distillation of these alcoholic by-products concentrated the alcohol and removed impurities, producing the first true rums.