«The land that we stop working on will produce only thorns and thistles.» Danish quote
Jean-Paul Arrossa has been a farmer for almost 20 years. He takes care of about 300 dairy ewes and 25 beef cattle. Alongside this he helped his father to cultivate 3 000 square hectares of vines to make wine for everyday use.
After many years in the profession, he wanted to diversify his activity and was longing for change. He was waiting for the right moment.
It all started in 2004. The Irouleguy Wine Cellar acquired 4 hectares of plots to plant on in the Ossèes neighbourhood, a small village close to the cooperative. A member of the cooperative started the building terraces with the aim to plant vines there. However, the work started but was never finished and the land was left neglected.
In 2010, the opportunity arose for Jean-Paul. The Wine Cellar gave him the land. What a bad condition it was in! Brambles, acacias and a bad water drainage system. It needed completely redoing, rebuilding.
He took the job on: the terraces were broken up, the slope direction was rebuilt. This wasn’t an easy job. This land which had been weakened by so much development, had piled up recurrent rockslides. Every year it was necessary to replant the plants which had yielded. Nowadays through the rows of vines there are still bare zones. An agricultural building that he built has even moved 10cm.
He has always been able to count on help from those dear to him. The vine is also a family history. His uncle has always been there and helps him a lot still today. His children are also involved. They are always ready to give a helping hand. One of them is heading towards agricultural studies. Maybe one day he will take over from his father?
Now that the vines are well established, they produce good grapes... There are a lot of projects in perspective. This Autumn he will build terraces to plant 4 000 square hectares of extra vines.
As for the way he cultivates, he works in a sustainable way. He has chosen mechanical weeding for part of his vines and aims in the near future to implement this on the whole of his plot.
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 | Arnaud Youakim | Txomin Arreguy |
The wines from the Cellar are the fruit of the work and the values from which the wine growers and the members of the cooperative personally identify themselves.
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