Wine tourism getaway in the village of Irouleguy

Irouléguy
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If there is one place where the expression "withdrawing from the world" takes on its full meaning, it is the hinterland of the Basque Country. Between ocean and mountain ranges, let's go for an enchanted break in the province of Basse-Navarre, to discover the charming village of Irouleguy, from which the AOC wine took its name. A few small white houses with red shutters, a steeple protruding, green valleys, rich pastures where sheep and sheep graze, sumptuous summits in the background… and vineyards of course!

Irrougly village

Irrougly village

Wonderful landscapes around Irouleguy

Head for this typically Basque town, relatively unknown and whose beauty of the landscapes and the talent of the winegrowers have some wonderful surprises in store for us!


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A discreet village with a strong identity

Nestled in a green setting between Saint-Etienne-de-Baïgorry and Saint-Jean-Pied-de Port, the parish of Irouleguy appears for the first time in the stories in 1354. It is today a village of 350 inhabitants where there is a serenity and a particularly exotic sweetness of life. For a short stopover or a nice hike lasting a few hours, Irouleguy appeals to the passing traveler who takes the time to linger.


Irrougly village

Irouleguy, the starting point for many hikes

Surrounded by 230 hectares of terraced vines, the village boasts remarkable architecture and heritage. When entering Irouléguy via its main street from the D15, head for the church square to park the vehicle and explore the village on foot.


Irrougly village

Irrougly village

After a break to admire the Saint Vincent church and its subtle blend of Basque and Romanesque style, we walk through the alleys, amazed by the typical Navarrese houses, characterized by their traditional woodwork, sometimes red in color, sometimes a deep green that recalls the greenery of the valley. A real cinematographic setting! Further on, the Pelote Basque pediment is an essential meeting point for locals, a place both to practice this sport inseparable from Basque culture but also a place of sociability at the center of everyday life.


Irrougly village


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After crossing the village, we head to the heights of it towards the remains of its priory built by the monks of Roncesvalles in the 12th century, an important stopover for pilgrims on the road to Saint-Jacques de Compostelle. Along the way, we notice the old washhouse fed by a small stream which descends from the hill... After a short ascent, we discover a splendid panoramic point of view from the ruins of the priory and an orientation table to survey the landscape and understand its meaning. The terraced vines stretch as far as the eye can see. The reliefs of the background are revealed in all their splendor!

Irouleguy, one of the smallest vineyards in France

Irrougly village

Irrougly village

It is therefore here, in the middle of this magical setting, that the unique Basque wine is produced: white, rosé and red, fleshy, deep and free in their expression, classified AOC since 1970. Appreciated by amateurs, this wine comes from a historic vineyard that deserves to be discovered! For this, several winegrowers welcome visitors to their production.

From the Agerria store, the producer Daniel Dupuy offers an immersion in the wine world by transporting us in an electric vehicle (fr), during a guided walk in his vineyards and in the village. As a couple, with family or friends, this authentic visit is the ideal opportunity to learn more about the vineyard and the secrets of its success. Back in Agerria, its shop of local products, a free tasting of wines but also of duck foie gras and other Basque specialties awaits gourmets.


Irrougly village

Irrougly village

Within the village, the Ilarria estate also opens its doors for a beautiful 3km walk through its vineyards. Owned by the Peio Espil family for several centuries, these 10 hectares allow the production of white, rosé and red Irouleguy wines, made from organically grown grapes. Your taste buds will appreciate the tasting at the end of the visit!

By moving away from the village a little, other producers benefiting from the appellation are happy to open their cellars and vineyards to help people discover this ancestral know-how. The Brana wine estate in Ispoure has produced excellent wines for generations, as well as the Gutizia estate in Saint-Etienne-de-Baïgorry which offers an educational trail through its vineyards.


Irrougly village

Irrougly village

Finally, still in Saint-Etienne-de-Baïgorry, the Cave d'Irouleguy is the wine cooperative of the AOC Irouléguy. Representing 60% of the vineyard, a visit to the smallest cooperative in France is a must to learn about all the flavors of this exceptional wine in the company of oenologists. Discover our article on the Cooperative cellar of Irouleguy!


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Photos and Article prepared by Lesley Williamson for the Guide du Pays Basque


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