Corsica is the fourth largest island in the Mediterranean after Sicily, Sardinia, and Cyprus. My own experience with Corsica are comprised of my one sailing trip there in 2001, a seminar at the Society of Wine Educators Conference on L’Ile de la Beauté and some wines in NYC through the years. I also saw an unbelievable movie about the local prison gangs and organized crime called “The Prophet.” I have met a few people from Corsica through my travels.
What I have tasted has been fantastic be it their Vermentino or their Sangiovese which they call Nielluccio. I have found them to be filled with mineral notes and lots of herbs and grassy hints known as the maquis. I look forward to tasting more wines from this beautiful island.
There are nine regions making wine in Corsica. The soils vary which of course translates into differences in the final wines. The viticulture can at times be considered alpine because the vineyards are at high elevation. Many grapes grow on this island including some brought from Algeria such as Cinsault and Carignon.
Most wines are IGT wines but it is changes almost daily.
Many grapes on the island grow on granitic sand soils. The Patrimonio Appellation in the northern part of the country was Corsica’s first AOC wine, designated in 1968, Most Patrimonio wines are made with Nielluccio (Sangiovese). Kermit Lynch who seems to have the strongest portfolio of Corsican wines brings in many of these wines. Bonifacio, a main city on the coast has limestone deposits.
There are a number of Vin Doux Naturels wines and two large cooperatives and much Corsican wine is sold to tourists.
I was very happy to taste the Muscat du Cap Corse as well. It was fantastic. Made from Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains grown on limestone, these wines are ethereal and made this Sweet Wine lover smile.
Many producers on Corsica are organic, certified and not. This is true for agricultural products such as apples as well as wines.