« In an old bottle, there is good wine. But there is also something from the past and something which is sleeping in there. When we uncork the bottle, a ray of sunshine is resurrected, along with a little emotion. » Léon Abric
My grandfather Alexandre Bergouignan was the founding member of the Irouleguy Wine Cellar in 1952. My father, Michel Bergouignan, took over the vineyards and was president of the Irouleguy appellation syndicate and president/director of the Irouleguy Wine Cellar for 20 years.
While everything predestined me to take over the family vineyards, it wasn’t my personal choice, it was quite the opposite.
I wanted to take another direction, distancing myself from the work in the vineyards to learn how to commercialise wine. I studied for a vocational degree in wine commercialisation with an apprenticeship at a wine trader in the Bordeaux region. However facing technical shortcomings, I understood that I needed to learn how to vinify wine. I succeeded in acquiring this knowledge in France and abroad: In Madiran, in the Bordeaux region, in Italy, in Chile, in New Zealand and twice in Australia.
Now at the age of 27 and more passionate than ever, I have decided to take over the work accomplished by several generations. I manage four full-time employees and make the decisions for the vine management of two vineyards with a total surface area of 26 hectares.
Today I’m working on a new project: to farm six hectares of Irouleguy white grape vines organically. It is a major challenge when we know that we only have 15 hectares of white Irouleguy grape vines currently and moreover only 1.5 hectares are organically farmed!
Involved in the development of the vineyards, I am part of the administration board for the Irouleguy appellation and I actively participate in different groups of work at the Irouleguy Wine cellar (on a commercial, investment and vinification level).
Others portraits : Olivier Martin | Pierre Laxague | 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 | 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.
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