Forbes magazine has published a list of the oldest companies in Spain, and many are bodegas, including the oldest one, Codorníu, from 1551. In second place is Monte de Piedad, originally a form of savings bank, founded in 1702, and in third place is specialist papermaker J Vilaseca dating from 1714. Fourth in the list comes Bodegas Alvear in Montilla, established in 1729, while in fifth is the cutlery firm Arcos, established in 1745 followed by another paper producer, Goma Camps founded in 1758. In seventh place is Bodegas Osborne dating from 1772 and in eighth is copper producer La Farga Lacambra established in 1808. The next three are Sherry bodegas: Barbadillo (1821), Caballero (1830) and González Byass (1835).
Thus, according to Forbes six of the top eleven oldest companies are wine producers and four are Sherry producers. However if we include Bodegas Barón (1631), Ximénez Spínola (1729), Domecq (1730), Delgado Zuleta (1744), La Cigarrera (1758), Garvey (1780), Sánchez Romate (1781), Hidalgo La Gitana (1792), Sánchez Ayala (1798) and Maestro Sierra (1830)which Forbes doesn’t mention, that would change things. It would make a more impressive list of the top twenty-one oldest companies containing sixteen wine producers, with fourteen of them Sherry producers, ten still in family hands. Now that is something to be very proud of.