Irouleguy wine appellation in south west France Restaurants, Wine, Travel, Opinions

Irouleguy wine appellation
Wine appellation

Reviewed By

Sue Dyson and Roger McShane
Country: France

Irouleguy is a wine appellation in south west France in the Basque region quite close to the Spanish border. The area is one of breathtaking beauty with the vineyard terraces clinging to the sides of the steep mountains that loom over the countryside. Many of the terraces are at an altitude of greater than 400 metres above sea level. Their height, exposure and proximity to Atlantic climatic conditions produces a unique microclimate for the vines that thrive here.
Irouleguy was granted appellation status for white, rose and red wines in 1970. There are 250 hectares given over to vines in a total area of some 1200 hectares that define the extent of the appellation.
The communes where wines can be produced for this appellation are Aincille, Anhaux, Ascarat, Bidarray, Bussunarits-Sarrasquette, Bustince-Iriberry, Irouléguy, Ispoure, Jaxu, Lasse, Lecumberry, Ossès, Saint-Etienne-de-Baïgorry, Saint-Jean-le-Vieux and Saint-Martin-d'Arrossa.
White wines are vinified from Petit Manseng, Gros Manseng, Petit Corbu and Courbu. The reds are made from Tannat, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. The rules of the appellation stipulate that at least 50% of the red wine must be vinified from Cabernet Franc and Tannat. However neither of these two grapes is allowed to exceed 90% of the blend.
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