Jean-Michel Iribarne’s Portrait

« Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine within your home, your children like young olive plants around your table. » The Bible

 

My grandfather cultivated half a hectare of AOC Irouleguy vines for pleasure. When I was little, I helped him to take care of them from time to time. His harvests were sold to The Irouleguy Wine Cellar.

After he died my brother and I looked after it for 3 to 4 years. Faced with weak results we decided to pull them out.

At the age of 20, not really knowing what to do for a future profession, I made the decision to leave on my own, with just a rucksack for company to discover the world. It was in Canada, alone in the middle of nowhere that I had a revelation. I realised my deep attachment to my homeland, the Basque Country. I decided to return home and made the choice to become a farmer.

Today I manage 3.5 hectares of vines in red and white grape varieties: tannat, cabernet franc, gros manseng and petit manseng. A part of it is in terraces.

Alongside this I rear 400 ewe’s for meat using organic agricultural methods. In Summer I take them to the Iraty mountains. From June to September I accompany small groups of tourists to look after my sheep flock on a walk. After the success of the first season last Summer I will continue this activity in 2017.

Combining sheep farming, several hectares of vines and family life is becoming difficult, which is why in 2017 I plan to take on a part-time employee.

And the future will tell us the rest...

 

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 | Daniel Dupuy | Pascal Arangoïts | Jean-Marie Crouspeyre | Daniel Ithurburua | Arnaud Youakim | Txomin Arreguy | Jean-Paul Arrossa

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