Arnaud Youakim’s Portrait

«If the earth turns, you turn with it.» A Cameroonian Proverb


A young wine grower, I am manager of the family SCEA («Société Civile d'Exploitation Agricole» - a French agricultural development company) «Domaine de Licerasse», situated in Saint-Etienne-de-Baïgorry. The plot covers 3,8 hectares, with 2,3 hectares of tannat, 1 hectare of cabernet franc and half a hectare of gros manseng.

My father, who is of Lebanese origin and my mother a Basque, met in Paris. I grew up in the Paris region but I spent all my holidays in Licerasse, at my grandparent’s house.

A foreign language graduate, I worked for a long time in tourism but also in a lot of other fields (gardener, local press reporter, seasonal agricultural worker) in France and abroad.

Settled in the Basque Country, I have been managing an ecological guest house in St Jean Pied de Port for a few years now. I am involved in the local community as a campaigner for the anti-globalist association Bizi. I am an active member of the local Eusko currency network.

In 2012 my mother handed over the management of the family vineyard to me, created in 1993 by my grandmother Odile Sala, Pierre Minjonnet’s niece, one of the founding members of the Irouleguy wine cellar. In addition, I became an associate of the Mignaberry SCEA with Marie-Claude Ourthiague and Ximun Bergouignan.

Recently, with occasional help from Ximun, his team and my family, I have devoted my time to working in the vineyard with a sense of tradition and respect for the environment. Today the domain is switching towards organic farming and we have just acquired a work horse.

What is my future project? Once these two new factors are mastered; to grow the grapes using biodynamic methods. A step nearer to the essentials in life a return to nature.

 

Others portraits : Olivier Martin | Pierre Laxague | Ximun Bergouignan | Peio Trounday | Xavier Martin | Jean-Marc Irigaray | Joan Lapeyrade | Jean-François Gorostiague | Christine Iriart | Beñat Eyherabide | Maite Lucu | Mikel San Miguel | Pascal Bidart | Pantxo Indart | Ramuntxo Cherbero | Jean-Michel Iribarne | Daniel Dupuy | Pascal Arangoïts | Jean-Marie Crouspeyre | Daniel Ithurburua | Txomin Arreguy | Jean-Paul Arrossa

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