Jean and Martine Brana
The appellation of Irouleguy stretches along a small band of hillside vineyards in the Pyrenees within the French Pays Basque. Practically all of the vineyards were wiped out from phyloxera over a century ago and when the Branas planted their vineyard in 1984, they were the first to do so on a meaningful scale. The vines are planted along very narrow terraces that have been cut out of the remarkably steep hillsides. The Brana’s farming practices are non-intervening and include bio-dynamic principles. All harvesting is done manually.
"Ilori", Irouleguy Blanc
The Irouleguy Blanc “Ilori” is a blend of 50% Gros Manseng and 50% Petit Courbu. The Branas are one of the few families to continue with the Petit Courbu. It is a traditional variety of the region but has trouble with the wet and unpredictable spring weather and is not terribly productive. A selection “triage” of the best grapes is made followed by a gentle maceration of the skins “maceration pellicullaire” and a settling of the must “debourbage”. The wine is fermented in stainless steel tanks and bottled the following spring.
The Domaine Rouge is a blend of 60% Cabernet Franc and 20% each of Cabernet Sauvignon and Tannat. A “triage” is made and fermentation/vatting lasts for three weeks. The wine is aged in barrels of one year for twelve months.
"Ohiza" Irouleguy Rouge
The Rouge “Ohitza” is made from 80% Tannat and 20% Cabernet Franc.The wine is aged in barrels of three years for twelve months.
"Harri Gorri" Irouleguey Rosé
The Harri Gorri Rosé is produced from 70% Tannat and 30%Cabernet Franc. Harri Gorri is basque for red stones and refers to the red sandstone found locally in the Pyrenees. The wine is produced using the “saignée” method with a maceration sufficient to give it deep color, good body and lots of spice.