Hunting accounts for approx. 54,000 jobs*
Círculo Fortuny, the only internationally recognised representative of Spanish high-end brands, assembles among its members firms associated with hunting and the countryside that distinguish themselves within the sector as the maximum expression of excellence: AYA-Aguirre y Aranzabal, Dehesa de Los Llanos, Grulla Armas, T.ba.
The hunt, in which man has engaged since prehistory, has evolved and developed over the centuries.
Today in Spain and the neighbouring countries, it is a regulated sport that strives to be rational, ethical, and sustainable for the environment. The perfection and sophistication of the uses and customs of the hunt have paralleled its practice by Europe’s royal and noble families, contributing to its popularity as a sport and creating an important economic sector in rural areas.
According to the latest data, Spain’s hunting industry generates more than €3.5 billion annually, employs roughly 54,000 individuals, and helps curb migration to urban areas.*
The manufacture of weapons and ammunition is an industrial sector deeply rooted in northern Spain.
The master gunsmiths from Éibar are known for manufacturing unique rifles with a degree of craftsmanship that elevates each piece to a work of art. In the first half of the 20th century, two great makers of rifles and shotguns began to emerge: AYA-Aguirre y Aranzabal and Grullas Armas. Currently recognised the world over, they export more than 60% of what they produce. Both firms share a philosophy based on the excellence of artisan gunsmithing to create original and exceptional firearms.
Today, a new generation (the fourth at AYA and the third at Grulla Armas) has renewed the commitment to quality and expertise, working to ensure that the arms industry in Éibar continues to thrive in the years to come.
The art of dressing in the countryside
In 1999, sisters Mercedes and Fernanda López de Carrizosa created T.ba as a cosmopolitan alternative to country clothing that evolves with the world of fashion without losing the character that makes its collections so unique. The search for very high-quality fabrics and the recreation of some exceptional materials that are no longer available, coupled with the desire to work with the best workshops in Spain, are good examples of T.ba’s pursuit of excellence.
T.ba epitomises 100% Spanish country clothing, with a presence in 22 countries. It exports more than 75% of its product — its two main markets at present being the United Kingdom and the United States.
Hunting and Conservation
Since the time of the Marquis of Salamanca, the first owner of Dehesa de Los Llanos after the expropriation of Mendizábal, the estate has been recognised and highly valued for the variety of its native fauna, and many famous figures have enjoyed hunting these lands.
The first partridge hunts began in Spain at the time of the Marquis of Salamanca. Among the big and small game was the native red partridge, which received the lion’s share of care and attention, from the restriction of farming and livestock activities in the breeding season to altering the distribution of irrigated crops, dry land, and wooded areas to favour the nesting and development of the fowl.
These conditions also favour the presence of other protected steppe species in the grasslands, such as the pin-tailed sandgrouse, the churra, the little bustard, and the great bustard. Also found at Dehesa de Los llanos are wood pigeon, quail, rabbit and hare, among others.
*Source: Hunting Study – 2012 Economic Sector; Royal Spanish Hunting Federation, Foundation for the Study and Defence of Nature and Hunting.
ABOUT THE MEMBERS OF CÍRCULO FORTUNY ASSOCIATED WITH HUNTING AND THE COUNTRYSIDE AYA-Aguirre y Aranzabal: The legend of AYA begins in the early days of the twentieth century, when Miguel Aguirre and Nicolás Aranzabal, two young gunsmiths from Éibar, the centre of Spanish gun making, decided to perfect their skills under the tutelage of Eduardo Schilling, a German immigrant who had set up shop in Barcelona and soon after acquired a reputation comparable to that of the best London gunsmiths.
In 1915, Miguel and Nicolás returned to Éibar and together founded Aguirre y Aranzabal – AYA.
Today, it is the only Spanish manufacturer of high-end sports weaponry that handles the end-to-end process of manufacturing fine shotguns (barrels, actions, stocks). Founded in 1915 and located in the town of Éibar, the AYA brand is recognised in the industry worldwide for producing handcrafted, custom-made rifles with the goal of excellence in mind.
Dehesa de Los Llanos: an iconic place in the province of Albacete, brimming with history and tradition. It is the original location of the Fair of Albacete, a Franciscan monastery in the Middle Ages, and the residence of the Marquis of Salamanca after the expropriation of Mendizábal.
In the late 19th century, it passed into the hands of the Marquis of Larios, and subsequently to the Marquis of Paul, who in 1974 created the current company and who, in the early 21st century, began to transform the agricultural products into agro-industrial products under the philosophy of producing quality artisan food.
In 2012, the company produced the Manchego cheese voted best in the world at the World Cheese Awards and the Mazacruz wines were recently recognised in several national and international competitions.
Éibar’s gunsmithing tradition, coupled with a hardworking spirit and talent for creating handcrafted products, prompted five of the region’s master gunsmiths to join forces in 1932 to develop unique handmade pieces.
That adventure was the beginning of Grulla Armas, which specialises in the manufacture of shotguns, rifles, and aristocratic firearms that embody the pure spirit of the traditional hunt.
Today, 80 years later, Grulla Armas continues to produce fine shotguns with the quality and detail needed to make each piece unique. Its shotguns and rifles are true works of art, recognised by satisfied customers worldwide.
T.ba: In 1999, sisters Mercedes and Fernanda López de Carrizosa created T.ba as a cosmopolitan alternative to country clothing that evolves with the world of fashion without losing the character that makes its collections so unique.
By going beyond market trends, T.ba aims to create something original, different, eternal, and innovative—a brand that epitomises these values with subtle details and elegant patterns that imbue the collections with femininity and romance.
“To create my collections, I take details and inspiration from the past and transform them to suit the present,” says Mercedes, the firm’s founder and creative director.
“We look for very high-quality fabrics and occasionally we make some exceptional materials for ourselves that are no longer available. And we always aim to collaborate with workshops in Spain.”