The beautiful Mediterranean island of Corsica, settled between the southeast coast of Provence and the west coast of Tuscany, unsurprisingly invites a collision of influences from both French and Italian wine making.
Despite being closer to Italy than it is to France, Corsica has been under French rule since 1769 and is included as one of the Gaelic country’s 26 regions – while the island’s quality appellations are classified using French Appellation d’origine controlee (AOC) guidelines. Nonetheless, many of the island’s wine making traditions and grape varieties have been adopted from Italy – with Italian classics Vermentino and Sangiovese (known locally as Rolle and Nielluccio respectively) dominating the vineyards.
With a history of wine making dating back 2,000 years, Corsica has collected an extremely diverse assortment of grape varieties – although only a few are used for the production of AOC quality wines that range from elegant reds, full-bodied roses and respected Muscats to some of the finest white wines to come from the Mediterranean.
Vineyards occupy almost the entire circumference of the island and winemakers – a third of whom happen to be women – readily welcome visitors to explore their cellars as part of an increasingly popular Corsica wine tour.
At Wine Paths, our local expert can organise exclusive Corsica wine tours across the island, which can include elaborate tastings, luxury stays, fine dining experiences and some unique activities. Among these is the opportunity to marvel at spectacular Mediterranean views from the skies during our private flight and Corsica wine tour.
After being flown over the island and landing safely, guests are given a guided Corsica wine tour that includes sampling local artisanal products, such as delicious goat cheese from the mountains, before a private tasting with a Corsican winemaker accompanied by a gourmet meal.
All of our private Corsica wine tours can be tailor-made to meet your exact requirements, ensuring that every detail is taken care of so that you can relax and revel in the experience. Corsica has nine AOC regions as well as an all-encompassing vin de pays classification Vin de Pays de l'Île de Beauté (‘country wine from the Island of Beauty’), which makes up two thirds of the island’s entire wine production.
To help plan your ideal Corsica wine tour, here is an overview of the island’s main regions to discover:
Patrimonio was established as the island’s first AOC region in 1968 and is home to the highest number of producers, making white, red and rose styles. It is a popular destination for a Corsica wine tour – especially since most vineyards are settled on the coast, close to the island’s crystal clear blue waters.
The Ajaccio region, centred around the titular town on the south west coast, includes some of the island’s highest vineyards producing mostly medium-bodied, spicy reds and roses. The town is also famed as the birthplace of the French emperor, Napoléon Bonaparte, whose childhood home is now a museum.
Elsewhere, the enveloping Vin de Corse region and its sub regions include dome of Corsica’s oldest established wineries and is where almost half of the island’s AOC wines are produced. A Corsica wine tour can visit several sub-regions, including Coteaux du Cap Corse, Calvi, Figari, Porto Vecchio and Sartene, each with their own individual personality.
While most of these sub-regions concentrate on red and rose varieties, the Muscat du Cap Corse region is renowned for its sweet white dessert wines, produced in the vin doux naturel style.
Visit our France destination page for more inspirational ideas before planning a Corsica wine tour and discovering the so-called ‘Island of Beauty’.