The Aldudes valley, in the heart of Lower Navarre, is considered to be one of the most isolated valleys of all the northern Basque Country. Just above Baigorri, it comprises three villages: Banka at an altitude ranging between 200 and 1300 metres, Aldude, the source of theBasque pig breed, and Urepel, the entrance to the region of ‘Kintoa’ (‘The Quinto Real’ region in Spanish) and the mountainous area of Sorogain.
Saint-Étienne-de-Baïgorry is one of the 15 villages in the AOPC designation area for the Irouléguy wine, one of the smallest vineyards in France. For more than 60 dears the Irouléguy wineries have been producing wines with character, rosés, reds and white, in the image and likeness of the terroir. Particular mention should be made of the 13th century church with its three galleries and its Baroque style contemporary organ.
From a gastronomical point of view, this valley is noted for having obtained 3 of the 4 AOP (Protected Designation of Origin) held by the Northern Basque Country. On the one hand, all the valley is part of the AOP Ossau-Iraty, that certifies its sheep’s cheese. A cheese made by the producers in the area and which is entirely made with with milk from native sheepof the following breeds: black-headed ‘Manex’and red-headed ‘Manex’.
For its part, the town of Aldude is noted for being the source of the of AOP Kintoa ham, produced with a native breed of pig also known as ‘Euskal Txerria’. Finally, Baigorri is the seat of the cooperative winery Irulegiko Arnoa. This is a Protected Designation of Origin whose vineyards stretch across 15 municipalities from Baigorri to Donibane Garazi, the Basque name for Saint Jean Pied de Port.
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