Mikel San Miguel's portrait

«An agriculture that cannot produce without destroying is carrying the germs of its very own destruction» Pierre Rabhi

 

Born in Traiguen in Chilli, as a child I spent my school holidays and my weekends with my family on the family farm of my uncle Michael Arreguy in St-Etienne-de-Baïgorry (64, France).

From a very young age I was interested in work in viticultural farming as well as caring for his herd of cattle.

So naturally I opted for a course with an option in «Viticulture and Oenology» firstly at the secondary school «La Tour Blanche» (a vocational diploma and a professional Baccalaureate) and then at the Montagne St Emilion secondary school (1st year of a technical degree).

Interested in Agroecology, I completed my training with a diploma orientated this time in Organic Livestock Breeding (BPREA).

My uncle was reaching retirement age and wanted to hand over his farm that had been converted to Organic Farming since 2006.

In 2011, I made the decision to start my own business at the age of 23 with 1.8 hectares of vines and 15 meat-breeding cattle.

Since 2011 I have planted 2.5 hectares of Tannat and Cabernet (grape varieties) for the red wines and 0.5 hectares of Gros Manseng (grape varieties) for the white wines.

To date my farm has expanded to 4.3 hectares of vines and 20 meat-breeding cattle. These two activities use Organic Farming methods.

During the year, two employees alternately help me, one for the pruning and the thinning and the other only for the vine maintenance in the spring.

Before setting up my own business, I did a work placement at the Irouleguy cooperative and I worked several seasons in sales and at the warehouse. Since setting up my business, I have carried on the family tradition of being a member of the Cooperative and a member of the board of directors.

I am convinced that choosing a healthier, organic agriculture enables us to produce high quality food whilst protecting our biodiversity at the same time. I would like to pursue this way of thinking.

What are my future projects? By 2017 I am planning to plant 0.5 hectares of Gros Manseng and following that the restructuration of the old vine.

 

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 | Pascal Bidart | Pantxo Indart | Ramuntxo Cherbero | Jean-Michel Iribarne | Daniel Dupuy | Pascal Arangoïts | Jean-Marie Crouspeyre | Daniel Ithurburua | Arnaud Youakim | Txomin Arreguy | Jean-Paul Arrossa

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