Travel Guide to Corsica Wine Region

Corsica wines are produced on the mountainous Mediterranean island that is a mix of elegant coastal towns, dense forest and rugged peaks. Further, the island is a paradise for sun worshippers with its beautiful beaches, for passionate adventure lovers and of Wine lovers will be also delighted by Corsican wines.

View of Evisa village, Corsica, France

Known as the “île de beauté” – isle of beauty – Corsica amazes, captivates and inspires!

CHeck wine tastings & tours in Corsica!

Wines of Corsica 

Historical Glance of Corsica Wine Region

The Island of Corsica belongs to France since 1796. However, Greeks, Romans, and Italians have contributed in a colourful historical mosaic of this place. They together have produced a rich cultural history and a unique wine culture that dates back to the 6th century BC.

The abundance of sunshine and the relative lack of rain provides excellent conditions for winegrowing. The small island in the Mediterranean is with 8000 ha a qualitatively important wine-growing area of France with more than 30  grape varieties and 9 AOC regions.

Discover the Corsican wine region through its grape varieties, sub-regions and appellations which gives birth to a distinctive style of wines.

Subregions & appellations

Corsica offers a great variety of soils with slate in the east, granitic soils to the west, alluvial sediments in the centre, and limestone cliffs to the north and south.

The nine wine appellations include the following certifications: Regional, Cru, Villages and Vin Doux Naturel.

Wine region of Corsica can be conveniently divided into two major wine-growing regions:

Ajaccio region – red & rosés

In the southwestern part of the island – the Ajaccio region – the wines are mostly reds and rosés. The main grape variety here is the native Sciacarello, which thrives due to the granite ground and produces mostly medium-bodied red and rosé wines.

The few white wines are made from Ugni Blanc and Vermentino grapes. The latter is known locally as Rolle. Another commonly grown grape here is Malvasia, a typically Mediterranean aromatic white type. See wineries in that area. 

Patrimonio – Main town of the Corsican wine

The region Patrimonio is on the north coast and was the first to receive AOC designation when it was established in 1968. Here mostly whites are produced, on good soil that is primarily chalk-clay and limestone. The grapes grown here are chiefly Vermentino and Nielluccio for the reds and rosés.

Ageing of reds in oak barrels is a fairly new practice in Corsica wine region, but some producers are experimenting.

If you are in Patrimonio, don’t miss a visit to the fabulous organic winery Domaine d’Alzipratu, where the sea and the mountains come to have a profound effect on the growing conditions.

Domaine d’Alzipratu welcome you to share a beautiful moment with the wine-grower.

Discover more wineries in Corsica, to explore diversity of this wonderfull island in the mediterranean!

Grape varieties

Classic and therefore representative grape varieties of Corsica wine region are mainly the Italian Carcajolo Noir, Sciaccarello and Niellucciu (in Italy: Sangiovese) for the red wines and Genovèse and Vermentino for the white wine.

But also French varieties such as Alicante Bouschet, Aleatico, Cinsault, Carignan, Grenache, Ugni Blanc and Syrah, which were introduced with the French rule.

Especially in recent decades, this offer has also been supplemented by international grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Mourvèdre and Pinot Noir and Viognier.

Typical red varieties

  • Aleatico
  • Barbarossa
  • Carcajolo Nero
  • Morescono
  • Sciaccarello
  • Niellucciu

Typical white varieties 

  • Bianco Gentile
  • Bianco
  • Brustiano
  • Carcajolo
  • Genovese
  • Riminese
  • Pagadebiti
  • Vermentino

Style of wines 

What is better for a holiday mood and beach life than rosé?

55% of the produced wine volume in Corsica is rosé and the majority of the production is almost exclusively enjoyed directly on the island. Corsican rosé is very pleasant, fruity and fresh with some spicy and mineral wine notes.

But the red and white wines of the region offer even more character. Generally they are strong and full-bodied, but not too heavy.

Niellucciu grape variety found its peak on Patrimonio’s clay-limestone slopes.

Sangiovese (Italian name) has developed its own character here: Deep dark colour, aromas of wild berries, lots of Maquis herbs (the type of vegetation on Corsica), liquorice and a touch of leather. In the mouth, it captivates with fine but distinctive tannins, stimulating acidity, tension and finesse.

The sea often adds notes of salt and iodine to the wines, which are strikingly evident in the not less characteristic white wines from Vermentino, which in Corsica wine region proves to be a great Mediterranean white wine. The third speciality is the Muscat, with each winemaker following his own philosophy.


Cultural and Natural Places to Visit in Corsica 

 Calvi

Elegant Calvi attracts the yachting crowd but it’s even more than just a marina.

A lookout tower in the citadel at Calvi, Corsica

The imposing medieval citadel, home to the Foreign Legion, keeps a watchful eye over the town. Elsewhere the narrow, cobbled streets and historic cathedral make a charming backdrop. Chic shoppers love to check out the unique boutiques before catching dinner at a quayside bistro. In fact, some of Corsica’s best restaurants are to be found in Calvi.

Ajaccio – the Birthplace of Napoleon

Ajaccio old city center, Corsica, France
Ajaccio City, Corsica, France

The island’s capital and also largest settlement, Ajaccio is famous as the birthplace of Napoleon. Understandably, tourism in Ajaccio makes many references to its famous son, but there’s plenty more besides.

Reminiscent of the mainland towns on the Côte d’Azur, Ajaccio is stylish and vibrant. Away from the bustling waterside, the Musée Fesch is an unmissable art gallery packed with treasures. Those with an eye for style should shop for craftsman-made jewellery from a unique Corsican red coral.

Sartène – the essence of Corsica

Once described as the most Corsican of Corsican towns, Sartène is a little gem.

The town is famous for its Easter celebrations, the centre of which is the Catenacciu procession on the evening of Good Friday. Packed with historic buildings, Sartène is a great place to discover traces of the island’s former Genoese rulers.

Sartène, Corsica, France

On the other hand, the cute squares with their friendly cafes make Sartène the perfect place to relax as well.

All experiences to discover in Corsica wine region.

Castagniccia – an untamed jungle region

An untamed jungle of chestnut trees on rolling hills, quaint little mountain villages, free-roaming pigs and cows and a network of narrow country roads – this is Castagniccia.

This area invites you to visit idyllic small mountain villages such as Campodonico. This village is at the same time starting point for a hike to the mountain San Petrone with 1767 m the highest elevation in the Castagniccia.

Furthermore, culinary specialties from chestnut flour such as pulenta, jams, pastries and chestnut liqueur are waiting to be tasted!

Nature Reserve of Scandola

A narrow, winding road leads high above the coast between AOC Calvi and Ajaccio AOC to a huge cliff formation of red granite that drops straight into the sea: the famous “Calanche de Piana”.

.Wind and weather have operated in thousands of years as a stonemason and created bizarre shapes. This natural beauty is in the UNESCO list. It is best to discover these wonders of nature on foot on one of the many hiking trails.


Cuisine of Corsica

Local food specialities – a kitchen influenced by many cultures 

like Corsican wines, the island’s gastronomy is coloured with the dual influences of France and Italy. But as well Spanish, Provencal, and even Arabic influences are mixed into the kitchen.

The top 3 dishes to try if you are on Corsica.

Corsican charcuterie

Despite the beautiful mix of different cultures expressed in Corsican Cuisine, It does, of course, also have some uniquely Corsican flavours and dishes.

Corsicans know how to handle spicy herbs. Domestic spice blends consist of a number of different herbs of the so-called “macchia” that grow in the Corsican mountains, such as rosemary, lavender, myrtle, juniper or wild thyme.

And as usual for an island, fish and seafood also play a major role.

Aziminu – The Corsican Bouillabaisse

“Aziminu” is an abound fish soup, which includes toasted bread with a strong garlic sauce. Moreover, Corsican bouillabaisse has its own touch through the abundant use of local herbs.

Stufatu – Veal Stew in Corsican Style

From the kitchen of the mountain farmers come the nutritious stews: the “Stufatu” with lamb, onions, noodles, and cheese. The cheese on Corsica is mainly made from goat or sheep’s milk.

Sturzapreti – priest Strangler

The story of this dish goes back to the past, when, after the Sunday mass, the pastor was always invited to lunch with one of the faithful families. This dish was so delicious to the pastor that he ate too greedy, and then choked on it regularly.

These gnocchi-like dumplings from Bastia are a great way to get picky kids to eat their greens. The green comes from chard or spinach leaves. The formed dumplings are topped with brocciu cheese and finished under the grill.

Below, you will find more information about tourism in the region :

share about Corsica wine region:

Region Highlights

Surface: 7000
Wineries: 350
Soil: granite, limestone, clay-chalk
Climate: mediterranean

Selected wineries in Corsica

Domaine d’Alzipratu
Here you will discover traditional Corsican grapes varieties circled with a beautiful landscape.
Domaine Terra Di Catoni
Discover Natural Wines from a Select Varieties of Grapes

Wine tastings & tours in Corsica

Wine tasting and tour at Domaine d’Alzipratu
Come and wake up your taste buds with Corsican wine tasting and tour at Domaine d'Alzipratu
Wine tasting and tour at Domaine Terra Di Catoni
Enjoy a wine tasting and guided tour of Domaine Terra di Catoni.

Other Wine Regions in France

Alsace
The Alsace region is known today as one of the most beautiful wine region in France, thanks to its valleys and amazing landscapes. On our website, book visits to beautiful wineries in Alsace and enjoy guided wine tasting and tour.
Beaujolais
Known for its vibrant fruity red wines made from Gamay grapes ! You can experience amazing wine tasting and tour activities at the various wineries in Beaujolais . On our site you can read all about this regions to be prepared for your stay.
Bordeaux
The region of Bordeaux gathered a large number of activities : enjoy your wine tour in one of the famous wine regions ! There are a big number of wineries in Bordeaux with wine tasting and tour activities that you can book easily via winetourism.com.
Burgundy
In Burgundy, wine is, before everything, an art de vivre. Visit Burgundy vineyard is a great experience for wine lovers. There are a big number of wineries in Burgundy with wine tasting and tour activities that you can book easily via winetourism.com.

Map of Wineries in Corsica wine region

Discover the long wine tradition of Corsica and discover some of the best wineries in this region

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