«Don’t search the depths of the earth to find riches : nature has placed bigger ones on its surface.» Proverb
In our neighbourhood, in the village of Baigorri, there have always been vines. In the past, my grandfather farmed a plot of vines, made his own wine and sold it directly to people.
Then in 1952, a basque wine cooperative was created : The Irouleguy Wine Cellar. He seized the opportunity and was amongst the first members to join.
As for me, I started my career by breeding dairy cows. In the 90s, the milk quotas forced me to develop my business in order to earn a decent living. That was when I took over my grandfather’s vines along with my father’s help. We tripled the area farmed going from 2 to 6 hectares of vines.
But one can’t harvest the fruits of a plantation merely by waving a magic wand. I had to wait between 5 to 6 years before I could live from my vine yard. Whilst I was waiting we farmed tobacco plants for 7 years.
In parallel, I had to acquire the skills and know-how necessary to farm my vines! The Irouleguy Wine Cellar helped me to do a wine grower’s training course for adults in order to perfect my knowledge. Journeys with other wine growers from the wine cellar to Alsatian and Swiss vineyards, enabled my father and I to learn more about vine farming in terraces.
Today I am 48 years old, I farm 6.9 hectares of vines, including 1 hectare of white grape varieties and twenty dairy cows. This set up suits me perfectly!
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 | Jean-Marie Crouspeyre | Daniel Ithurburua | Arnaud Youakim | Txomin Arreguy | Jean-Paul Arrossa
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.
Alcohol abuse is dangerous for your health, consume with moderation