Xavier Martin's portrait

« From the 4th generation, vineyards, wine, I was born into it… »

 

At the end of the 19th Century, my great grandfather bought the land around the Irouléguy chapel. A solicitor by trade, he was surrounded by a team of employees to help him.

My grandfather started studying again and took over the vineyards. At that time, in the Basque Country, the wine growers sold their wine to wine merchants from the Basque coast. My grandfather was one of the first to bottle and label his wine with the « Irouléguy » name.

My father also invested in this family business and was vice president of the Irouleguy wine cellar. However, not having the personnel to work on the wine slopes, which could not be mechanised, he reluctantly decided to pull out the biggest part of the vines.

Then came my turn to take over the land, I decided, in 1983, at the instigation of Alexandre Bergouignan, founding member of the Irouleguy wine cellar, to replant the vines on the land of my ancestors. I planted 11.61 acres of vines. I should also say that at the time the government funding was a lot more generous.

An adventurous character, I had the idea of making my own wine. Through lack of technical and financial means, reality caught up with me and I joined the Irouleguy wine cellar in 1987.

For 20 years, I was on the board of directors and the harvest and investment committees. Through this I was able to work on improving the quality of the wine, follow the evolution of the vines and observe the enormous progress made at the Irouleguy wine cellar.

I haven’t treated my vines with pesticides since 1998 and I have reduced the doses of treatment. Thus, thus naturally in 2008 I made the decision to change to organic farming. In 2011, my vines received the organic certification and then I handed over the reins to my son Olivier... And the fifth generation marks its path... !

 

Others portraits : Olivier Martin | Pierre Laxague | Ximun Bergouignan | Peio Trounday | 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 | Jean-Paul Arrossa

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