The property was acquired at the beginning of the IXX century by Mr. Santiago Fernandez, Spanish immigrant (grandfather of the current owner), originally dedicated to the dual-purpose cattle raising and the cultivation of tobacco, sugar cane and potatoes, at that time the farm was known by locals as Potrero Grande. Mr. Santiago died young at the age of 32, leaving his wife, Mrs. Luisa Paniagua, a widow with six children. Their older child was only 12 years old.
Mrs. Luisa, a woman of strong character and very hard working, decided to fight for her children, in a time when women were relegated to a second plane in our society and which lacked many rights. She decided to continue the family business and take care of them while her children grew up the and spend the rest of her life in the family business.
Her eldest son, Ernesto Fernandez started to help his mother still being very young. In 1920, his mother and him decided to plant the first to 2 hectares of coffee, to test this new crop. Later Mr. Ernesto got married and formed a family of 8 children, with whom he continued the activity. There after he planted more and more coffee, until completely replaced the planting of sugar cane and tobacco.
His son Mr. Carlos Fernandez, would inherit from his father a part of the original farm which belonged to his grandfather. This property was dedicated to coffee cultivation and cattle raising. Well aware of the importance of quality coffee, Mr. Carlos Fernández has been working all his life with high quality Arabic coffee lines, originally the varieties planted were Typica and Bourbon, which eventually were replaced by Caturra, Catuaí and Villa Sarchí. Currently, Carlos Fernandez works the farm with his children and grandchildren. However, he has two permanent workers dedicated to the maintenance and care of the crop, and during harvest time, the picking is mostly done by immigrant, most of these people are from Nicaragua. These people have come for 15 years to El Cerro Farm, to collaborate with the collection of red coffee, due to the fair treatment that Don Carlos Fernández and his children give them every year.
The micro lot selected to participate in Cup of Excellence, is Caturra and Red Catuaí. This plantation is excellent agronomically handled, under shade, good agricultural practices and fertilization plan focused on an excellent quality cup, the beans were carefully picked during the optimum ripeness and then transported directly to Café de Altura San Ramon wet mill, where the coffee was pulped, and a process of anaerobic fermentation was applied. The average fermentation time was 24 hours. There after the coffee was transported to the greenhouses. The time in this stage was 4 days to dry off the excess mucilage on the bean. After 4 days the coffee was taking to the final drying stage on Africans beds for a period of 18 to 22 days, under shade. Finally, the coffee was store aged hermetically for three months.