Let’s hit the road for some exploring and a bit of oenology! We’re heading off to the Basque country — the Mourguy estate in Ispoure to be precise.

They’ve been producing Irouléguy here since ancient times, a wine that comes from one of the smallest vineyards in all of France. Although the local climate lends itself pretty well to cultivating vines, the same can’t be said for the land itself. It takes great passion and self-sacrifice to work on the Tannat, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes grown in terraced plots at over 600 m above sea level and on slopes of up to 60%. Spend a few days at the family home of the Mourguys, and their love for their roots — both literal and metaphorical — will soon be clear to see. Needless to say, the view from the chambres d’hôtes is impressive. Pierre and Florence, the owners and wine-growers, also raise donkeys: they’ll happily lend them to you for a ride in the surrounding majestic, vine-strewn hills so you can take the strain off your back and the fickle limbs of your children. It’s calm here, it’s relaxing, and it’s just five minutes from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port.

 

Tips nearby: 

Hôtel Les Pyrénées: This four-star hotel, situated in the centre of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, is affiliated to the Châteaux et Hôtels de Collection. It’s a renovated coaching inn with contemporary bedrooms, some of which overlook the village and citadel. There is also a Michelin-starred restaurant serving fresh produce and fine cuisine.

Clos Mirabel: A superb, modernised 18th century manor house in Jurançon set in a private park of six hectares. Clos Mirabel — located between the sea and the mountains — features five gîtes and six upscale chambres d’hôtes. It enjoys exceptional views of the Pyrenees, and is the perfect spot for families or couples. The right place, in short, for all seasons.

Geolocation: 

Domaine de Mourguy
Etxeberria, 64220 Ispoure