A.J. Fernandez was born in Cuba's countryside, in the San Luís area of Pinar del Río. His father, Ismael, and his uncle worked for the government's agricultural department specifically for tobacco. By the age of 13, Fernandez would go straight to a tobacco farm after school called Finca La China. In 2003, Fernandez left his homeland for Nicaragua, where he began rolling cigars. Today, Fernandez owns one of Nicaragua’s biggest premium cigar operations, along with a host of popular brands like San Lotano Oval, New World and Enclave.