The vineyards of Corsica

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The vineyards of Corsica

To understand the history of viticulture in Corsica, you have to go back to six centuries BC. the vines have always been present in the wild, it was the Greeks who began to cultivate them on the island, then they were followed by the Romans. Viticulture then developed massively and, nowadays, the vineyards of Corsica cover the entire coast, i.e. nearly 6,000 hectares, 9 AOPs and one IGP. In Corsica, 22% of wine-growing land is organically grown (compared to 12% on the mainland). Let’s discover the characteristics of the terroir and the wines made on the island of beauty.

The characteristics of the land

The Corsican terroir benefits from an exceptional rate of sunshine, mild winters and hot summers, which benefits the vines. But, the island is also swept by various microclimates: Mediterranean, mountainous and maritime. The Mediterranean climate and the mountain climate are conducive to the cultivation of vines in different ways: one brings heat and sun and the other can bring a beneficial humidity level for the growth of the vine. vine, especially in the spring.

As for the sea entrances, they generate cool and invigorating winds which also help the development of the vine on the island. Ideal climatic conditions corroborated by an exceptional diversity of soils: a mixture of shale, granite, sedimentary alluvium and limestone from which the plantations will draw to grow in the best conditions. Terrace cultivation is often practiced in order to offer the vines the best exposure to the sun.

The vineyard of the island of beauty

The vineyard of the island of beauty is divided into different zones (or small sub-regions). These are Porto-Vecchio, Figari, Sartène, Ajaccio, Calvi, and the hillsides of Cap Corse, not to mention the most famous appellation in Corsica: that of Patrimonio. There are 9 PDOs in Corsica: 1 regional appellation “Vins de Corse”, 2 Cru appellations “Patrimonio and Ajaccio”, 5 Village appellations “Corse Porto-Vecchio”, “Corse Figari”, “Corse Sartène”, “Corse Calvi” and “ Corse Côteaux du Cap Corse ” and 1 Natural Sweet Wine appellation “ Muscat du Cap-Corse ”.

The specificities of Corsican wines

The Corsican wines have character, thanks to the minerality of the soil. They have a long finish in the mouth whether they are red or white wines. The red wines have a good structure and a very deep colour. They are supple, easy to drink and sometimes spicy. White wines are very aromatic, with a beautiful minerality and very often offer unique floral or fruity (citrus) notes. The rosés are lively and colourful, fruity and fresh and the sweet wines made from Muscat à petits grains are silky, unctuous on the palate, very fragrant and of great finesse. These different wines go perfectly with the Corsican gastronomic specialties.

Main grape varieties

In Corsica, the traditional grape varieties are Sciaccarello and Niellucciu (for red wine) and Vermentino and Muscat à Petits Grains (for white wine and VDN). The first three grape varieties are native to the island and make it possible to design unique and easily recognizable wines. A real cultural treasure highlighted by ancestral know-how.

Other general information on Corsican wine

More generally, you should know that Corsica is one of the smallest French wine producers. The wine production of the island of beauty represents less than 1% of national production. It is estimated that 375,000 hectoliters are produced in Corsica each year. Corsica being an island, 35% of local production is consumed on site.

This can be explained by the strong sense of Corsican belonging which implies consuming local as much as possible, but also because the island is a mecca for tourism. It is considered that 45% of the volumes leave to be sold on the continent and that 20% are exported outside our borders. The Corsican wines are not classified, however the reputation of those of Patrimonio is great and often takes precedence over other PDOs. You can taste quality Corsican wines in our Corsican seaside restaurant.

Some Corsican wines to discover urgently

To delight you with Corsican wines, here is a small selection in white, red and rosé to discover as soon as possible:

In white wine:

  • Domaine Antoine Arena – Patrimonio Grotte di Sole 2010
  • Clos Nicrosi – Muscat du Cap Corse Muscatellu 2010
  • Domaine Vico – Vin de Corse Clos Venturi 2008
  • Domaine Antoine Arena Patrimonio Carco 2010
  • Clos Nicrosi – Muscat du Cap Corse Clos Nicrosi 2010
  • Domaine Comte Abbatucci – General Ajaccio of the Revolution 2008
  • Domaine Renucci – Calvi Vignola 2010

In red wine:

  • Clos Canarelli – Figari Clos 2009
  • Domaine Comte Abbatucci – Ajaccio Minister 2008
  • Domaine U Stiliccionu – Ajaccio Sottu Scala 2009
  • Clos Canarelli – Figari Terra d’Orazi 2009
  • Clos Culombu – Calvi Ribbe Rosse 2008
  • Domaine d’Alzipratu – Calvi Pumonte 2008
  • Domaine Antoine Arena – Patrimonio Carco 2009
  • Domaine Antoine Arena – Patrimonio Grotte di Sole 2009
  • Domaine Vico – Wine of Corsica Clos Venturi 2007

In rosé wine:

  • Domaine Vico – Wine from Corsica Clos Venturi 2010
  • L’Enclos des Anges – Calvi 2010
  • Clos Fornelli – Wine from Corsica Robe d’Ange 2010
  • Domaine Cordoliani – Patrimonio 2010
  • Domaine Renucci – Calvi Vignola 2010
  • Domaine de la Punta – Wine from Corsica Cuvée Balianu 2010
  • Domaine Pieretti – Coteaux du Cap Corse Cuvée Marine 2010