Friday, 23 February 2018

Bodegas Paúl & Dastis

Not much is known for sure about the Paúl family. They may have been from Vizcaya or Navarra in northern Spain - or even Scotland - and they almost certainly established a bodega in 1795, or it could have been in the first third of the XIX century. In fact it may have been both. What is known is that they became very successful as almacenistas, supplying the likes of González Byass, and also as exporters.

Tracing the exact history of XIX century Sherry firms can be almost impossible as their names change frequently with the arrival or departure of a partner. It is a veritable labyrinth. It probably started with the Dastis family who were French merchants originating in Astis (Béarn), France. The first to arrive in Cádiz was Lorenzo Dastis y Perenge (b 1761) and he is documented as having bodegas in Jerez in 1794. His son Pedro Dastis Sologuren (b 1806) founded a successful bodega with his cousin Pedro Soles y Dastis (b 1801) called Dastis & Soles, no doubt using inherited stocks.

Inside one of the bodegas (foto: elpuertoysusbodegas)

One of Lorenzo’s grandsons, Germán Dastis y Ruiz de Loizaga (b 1833), his cousin Francisco Dastis y Sologuren and José Paúl y Parquín formed a Sherry company, Paúl & Dastis which had offices in London. The firm was almost certainly related to Dastis & Soles both in terms of family and business. Under the management of Manuel Francisco de Paúl y Picardo the business grew and the family became very wealthy. The trading name changed at least nine times: DF Paúl e Hijo, Viuda de DF Paúl, M Francisco Paúl, Carlos de Paúl, Dastis Hermanos, Dastis & Paúl,Luis Dastis, Isidoro Dastis, Francisco Dastis, Camacho Dastis….

(foto: gentedejerez)

Meanwhile a certain Agustín Blázquez y Blázquez (1826-1886) was doing very well exporting their wines from Cádiz. In 1857 Servanda de Paúl y Picardo (1837-1881), married Agustín, originally from Antequera (Málaga). The marriage certainly raised Agustín’s position on the social ladder, and he and his family lived in an enormous and luxurious house in Cádiz. He established his own bodega in Calle Paúl, almost certainly using family stocks, and expanded into the Calle Sevilla. The firm was taken over by Domecq in 1973 and the C/Sevilla bodegas were sold off to a construction firm. The only remnant still standing is a small bodega in the Callejon de los Bolos which has been preserved as a municipal cultural and exhibition space - but which is currently closed.

Bodega Callejon de los Bolos

Calle Paúl in Jerez was built on land gifted by José de Paúl in 1840 to the Ayuntamiento, who named the street after him. His own bodegas once formed a whole block between Calles Paúl, Sevilla and Santo Domingo, later belonging to Agustín Blázquez, and all now blocks of flats. The railway once ran down the street, on the other side of which were the bodegas of Williams & Humbert, the surviving buildings of which are now the Hotel Los Jandalos, behind what is now the Consejo Regulador building.

In 1971 the Paúl family sold their remaining XVIII century soleras, which had been stored for a long time at the Alcázar, to Don Faustino González Aparicio. He used them to found bodegas Faustino González, who released their first VORS Oloroso in 2017 from one of these soleras. A descendant of the Dastis family, Alfonso Dastis, is currently the Spanish foreign minister.

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