If ever you have the chance to meet Yvonne Hégoburu from Domaine de Souch in Jurançon, the first thing she will do is to take your hand and say: “Je suis la meilleure” (“I am the best”). This could be taken for a lack of humility but once you will have spoken a bit longer with Yvonne, you will be overwhelmed by her passion and generosity, qualities that show in her wines.
In the seventies, Yvonne and her husband found a little house only 6km far from their family house in Pau. They litterally fell in love with the place and decided to buy it. Their dream was to grow vines but Yvonne’s husband died before they could make their dream come to life…
In 1987, when she was 60, Yvonne decided to make this dream come true in tribute to her husband. It was a way for her to pass all her love for her husband to their land. So she planted 6 hectares of vines in her property. Right from the start, she chose local grape varieties: Petit Manseng, Gros Manseng and Courbu. She also started some monumental work to renovate the estate.
In 1994, Yvonne decided to run the vineyard following the principles of biodynamic viticulture. After a few years of perseverance and hard work, Domaine de Souch has acquired the reputation as one of the best wines in the Jurançon appellation…
What is the most amazing about Yvonne is her personnality that she transmits to her wines. She is really someone to meet once in a life. David Biraud, who ran for France the “World’s best sommelier” competition this year and who is chef sommelier at “Crillon” in Paris said recently in a French magazine, when asked about his major regret in life: “It is to have never met Yvonne Hégoburu, producer of Jurançon.”
Wine Fact: The Jurancon AC
Jurançon is an apellation for dry and sweet white wines made in the South-West of France, on the foothills of the Pyrenées, near Pau. The vines grow on steep slopes so mechanization is rarely possible. The vineyards benefit from both oceanic and mountain influences. The traditional grapes varieties are Lauzet, Petit and Grand Mansengs and Courbu. The soils are made of clay and limestone and the total production area is 750 ha.
Sweet Jurançon are gold with exotic fruits, cinnamon and honey aromas. Yvonne’s Jurançon Moelleux have delicious coconut notes that I love… Many people think that sweet Jurançon is made from botrytised grapes (noble rot). This is wrong. Sweet Jurançon is made from late harvest, when the sugars concentrate in the grapes. As a consequence Jurançon wines often have a higher acidity and more fruity flavours than sweet wines made from botrytised grapes.
As for dry Jurançon, they are clear green. They have fresh and aromatic apple notes. They account for 75 % of the total wine production in Jurançon.