During the nineteenth century the products produced in the valley such as wine were exchanged with fresh fish from the Bay of Biscay through what is known as the wine route. Rufino Arroyabe began selling fresh fish on the plateau through this bartering system. In order to keep the fish fresh and in the best possible conditions en route to its destination, he would pack it with ice as he passed by Gorbea. The year was 1898 and after several years of selling these products, Rufino Arroyabe decided to build a cannery and combine it with a winery.
In those days, the fish was canned and preserved by salting or brining, which is how Bonito tuna in brine originated.
NEW FACILITIES IN BERMEO
With the help of his son, Rufino Arroyabe Ruiz de Azua, new products were added to the initial product line and the production process of canning was improved until they achieved high quality products with exquisite flavor.
In the 60’s they moved to a new facility in the town of Bermeo, Spain, abandoning the winery and exclusively focusing on canning White Tuna and Salted Anchovies. They began to try out new products such as canning fish in olive oil (up to that point they only canned using brine).
In 1996, they built the current factory in the outskirts of Bermeo which enabled them to combine technological innovation with traditional preparation. The new facility enabled them to increase the sizes of their products in order to meet consumer needs with glass jars of White Tuna.