The origins of Vinoteca Mendibil date back to 1894, when our paternal great-grandfather, Martín Gaztelumendi, opened a wine shop in Irun’s Calle Mayor.
In the 30’s, his daughter, Pilar Gaztelumendi, took over the company, moving it to the Calle Iglesia. The wine business received a new boost in the late 50’s when her son Martín joined the business, continuing the saga.
In 2001, Casa Gaztelumendi was extensively modernised by the fourth generation of the family. That year, Iñaki Solbes founded Vinoteca Mendibil, joining forces with another great expert in fine wines, Miguel Salas. From then on the business diversified and expanded, giving rise to today’s innovative, modern company.
This history steeped in wine also has a second family branch. Our maternal great-grandfather, Alejo Lépine, who moved in the 19th century from Bordeaux to Logroño, where he founded Bodegas Franco Españolas. Lépine created the famous Diamante wine, the original formula of which is still with the family today.
Martín Gaztelumendi Aramburu opens a wine merchant in Irun, Casa Gaztelumendi.
Casa Gaztelumendi is situated at no. 8 of the Calle Mayor in Irun. This was a hugely important connection between Madrid and Paris in the early 20th century.
The business expands, opening other retail outlets in Irun and Hondarribia, while the company also starts bottling its own beverages, such as wine and cider.
Casa Gaztelumendi becomes a reference in the Basque wine-selling trade.
The Casa Gaztelumendi building is destroyed during the Civil War.
On the death of Martín Gaztelumendi, his daughter Pilar takes up the reins of the business.
Casa Gaztelumendi reopens in Irun’s Calle Iglesia, beneath the Fonda Arrupe boarding house.
Martín Solbes Gaztelumendi takes over from his mother, Pilar. An image of Martín Solbes can be seen on the top left-hand side of the company vehicle.
The shop opens in Calle República Argentina.
Iñaki Solbes Ponte takes over as director of the business, now located in Calle República Argentina in the centre of Irun.
Iñaki’s sisters Nerea and María join the family business.
Miguel Salas becomes a partner of the business, which gains in strength with its move to Calle Juan de la Cruz and a new name: Vinoteca Mendibil.
Vinoteca Mendibil occupies other premises in Calle Juan de la Cruz.
Vinoteca Mendibil expands its facilities to the Zaisa logistics centre in Irun, where it opens a warehouse and offices.
The Vinoteca Mendibil departments grow in size with the incorporation of more people into its work team.
Mendibil is now one of the best wine merchants in the Basque Country, selling more than 3,000 wines, spirits, liquors and select products.