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By Nathalie the 29/11/2018

Corsican grape varieties

Corsica has a variety of unique varieties.

With a long history of wine growing, Corsica is home to a natural treasure: more than 30 traditional grape varieties which share similarities and yet retain their own individual character, and which constitute an exceptionally rich wine heritage.

Aleatico, Barbarossa, Biancu Gentile, Riminsese, Carcajolo Nero, Paga Debiti,  Muresconu, Carcajolo Bianco, Codicerta, Genovese, Brustianu, Cualtacciu, Minustellu, Rossula Bianca, Murescola, Biancone, Vintai, Prumeste, Muscateddu, « the unknown » d’Altiani, Vermentinu, Niellucciu, Sciaccarellu…

From this mosaic of refined grape varieties, there are three that stand out: the Sciaccarellu, the Niellucciu and the Vermentinu. These are the leading Corsican grape varieties and they can be found in the island’s nine AOC wines.

La Discovering Haute Corse through its vineyards

Touring the vineyards of Corsica means discovering the natural diversity of the island, as well as exploring its cultural and gastronomic treasures. In the north, the Patrimonio wine  trail follows the clay and limestone valleys of the Nebbiu, inland at Saint Florent. It brings together 33 wine cellars, vineyards and estates in the island’s most ancient and well renowned wine growing area. Nearby is Cap Corse, the northern tip of Corsica and home to vineyards that are arranged on terraces (AOC Muscat du Cap Corse and Coteaux du Cap Corse) and overlooking the picturesque « marines », the coastal villages that are dotted across the greenery of the maquis landscape. Balagne (AOC Calvi) is located further west. Its 12 wine growing estates cover 276 hectares along the foot of the mountains between Ile Rousse and Calvi and out towards a coastline that lies in the shadow of the 1941m peak of Monte Grosso. Pretty mountain villages overlook the citadel of Calvi and its beaches of fine sand. Finally there are the AOC Corse vineyards, covering 23 estates from Moriani to Solenzara and stretching the length of the eastern plain. From the baroque churches of Castagniccia at the ancient site of Aleria to the splendid natural landscapes of Pinia, a tour around Corsica’s vineyards will uncover a multitude of other surprises.

The AOC wines of southern Corsica.

From the imperial city of Ajaccio to the prehistoric sites of Sartenais and the thousand year old citadel of Bonifacio, as well as the idyllic beaches of Porto Vecchio and the giddying heights of the Aiguilles de Bavella, the A.O.C. wines will provide the backdrop for cultural visits, the discovery of nature or pure relaxation in the south of the “l’Île de Beauté”. It is always a good idea to discover Corsica, this veritable continent in miniature, through the medium of wine. Take time to discover the vineyards that overlook the sea, hug the mountainside and produce the AOC wines of Ajaccio, Sartène, Figari and Porto Vecchio. Passionate wine growers will know exactly how to help you explore their cellars and guide you through the vines and grape varieties that provide the perfect accompaniment for roast lamb, grilled sea bream or flavoursome cheeses. Reds, roses and whites are spread across nearly 40 vineyards and estates in south and undoubtedly reflect the variety of landscapes and flavours of Corsica.