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Corsica Wine Region

Exploring the Wines of Corsica

Corsica, the French island in the ‘Mediterranean Sea’, is one of the twenty six regions of the nation.

Although it is located at just 90 kilometers from Italy, this island is under French rule since the year 1769.

Due to its placement, the island’s winemaking traditions, as well as the grape varieties are found to be Italian in origin.

With a long winemaking history, which can be dated back to the 570 B.C., this region is found to be impressing lots of wine lovers from across the world with its diverse portfolio of wine grape varieties.

Wine grape varieties

Now, let’s explore the viticulture and wines of Corsica here….

How Climate and Geography support Viticulture in Corsica?

We can observe that the Corsican Island is the most mountainous among all the islands that are located in the Mediterranean Sea.

The climatic conditions here are warmer, as well as drier than those in mainland France.

Yes, obviously, the climate is Mediterranean in nature with higher sunshine levels than other parts of France.

The growing season here is found to be more suitable for high-yielding viticulture with the weather conditions being excellent during the harvest times.

In general, the vine growing regions of the island are found to have several different types of soils.

In the northern parts, the soils are found to be ‘schist’ whereas they are limestone-rich, chalky or clayey in the vineyard regions to the south of ‘Cap Corse’.

The vineyards in the west coast are found to have higher amounts of granite while the vineyards of the east coast are found to have marly sand.

We could say that this difference in the soil types is the major reason for the diverse portfolio of the wine grapes in the island.

Wine Regions of Corsica

At present, the island has nine AOC regions which include a regional AOC (Vin de Corse AOC) covering the entire island.

Within this regional AOC, there are five sub-appellations which are smaller in size, as well as yields.

They are:

· Coteaux du Cap Corse
· Calvi
· Figari
· Porto Vecchio
· Sartène

The five major AOC wine regions of Corsican Island are:

· Patrimonio
· Ajaccio
· Vin de Corse
· Muscat du Cap Corse

It is to be noted that the use of irrigation is banned in all the AOC wine regions of Corsica.

Alcohol and Distilleries

Grape Varieties in Corsica

We can find both red and white wine grape varieties in this island with most of the grape varieties used in Corsica are seldom found outside of the island.

On the whole, the region has over 30 indigenous grape varieties along with some imported varieties.

However, the region has only three noble insular grape varieties that are forming the basis of all the appellations in the Corsican Island. They are:

Sciaccarellu (Red)

This indigenous grape variety of Corsica is found to be performing well in the granite soils in the wine regions of Ajaccio and Sartène.

The wines of Sciaccarellu are more or less similar to that of Pinot Noir both in appearance, as well as aroma. These wines would have a peppery taste and a wide range of aromas.

Niellucciu (Red)

This grape variety is commonly seen in the limestone soils of Patrimonio AOC.

This is thought to be a sibling of ‘Sangiovese’ grape.

The wines that are made from this grape variety are found to have a great structure.

Vermentinu (White)

This is locally known by the name ‘Malvoisie de Corse’ in Corsica and can be widely seen all over the island.

The wines that are produced from this grape variety are of outstanding personality with good structure and substantial alcohol levels.

Other Indigenous Grapes of Corsica

· Aleatico
· Barbarossa
· Elégante
· Biancu Gentile
· Genovese
· Riminese

Imported Varieties

· Cabernet Sauvignon
· Mourvèdre
· Merlot
· Cinsault
· Pinot Noir
· Carignan
· Syrah
· Ugni Blanc
· Grenache
· Chardonnay
· Muscat à Petits Grains



Tharani Rajamanickam

Tharani Rajamanickam


I am Tharani, I have Bachelors degree in Biotechnology. I am passionate about the wine industry and continue to explore, learn and share and I bring in a wealth of knowledge and expertise to help you keep updated with best wines in the world. Stay tuned..

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