570 BC 
Organised viticulture was introduced by the Phocaean traders

2 BC - 5th Century
Romans invaded Corsica. Viticulture continued 

700 - 800 AD 
Islamic group , The Saracens took over. 
The Islam religion forbids alcohol, viticulture is this era almost came to a hauls and disappeared

11th Century
The italian city of Pisa took over Corsica from the Saracens

13th - 18th Century
The Italian city of Genoa took over Corsica.
During this period many viticulture regulations were put in place. 

The French took over Corsica. 

Fun fact - Napoleon Bonaparte (French Emperor) father was a winemaker from Ajacco in Corsica.  

Phylloxera destroyed the vineyards. Vines needs to be re-planted grafting the vine onto the pest resistant American rootstock 

Patrimonio, was the first region to receive AOC status


Location & Climate

Corsica is an island located in between France and Italy in the Mediterranean sea above the Italian Island Sardenga. 

The vineyards are planted along the coast of the island 

Mediterranean - Oceanic and Alpine influences


2,885 sunshine hours per year. Consistent temperature is maintained by the sea absorbing the heat during the day and releasing it at night.



Geology & Topography


The most mountainous island in the Mediterranean
Average altitude of vineyards - 300 meters


Northern Corsica
Cap Corse   
Soil - Schist 
This soil suits the Italian variety Vermentino known locally as "Rolle"
The climate is cooler in the North with low annual rainfall 
The climatic conditions are ideal for production of sweet fortified wines

South of Cap Corse

Patrimonio Region 
Soil - Limestone and clay 
Italian grape variety Sangiovese known locally as "Nielluccio"
Full bodied, fruit driven, mineral and herby red wine 

West Coast

Soil - Granite 
Native Red grape variety Sciaccarello 

East Coast
Soil - Sand mixed with granite
2 large appellations are located on the East Coast
Vin de Corse AOC 
Vin de Corse Porto Vecchio 

The soil found here produces red, rose and white in a light-bodied


Grape Varieties

2/3 of production is red

AOC White grapes


  • Vermentino "Rolle"-17% of production

  • Ugni Blanc

  • Codivarta

  • Muscat a Petits Grains Blanc


AOC Red grapes


  • Niellucciu (Sangiovese) 35% of vineyard acreage

  • Sciaccarello 

  • Grenache

  • Syrah

  • Cinsault

  • Carignan

  • Mouvedre

  • Barbarossa


  • Chardonnay - main grape used for IGP Whites

  • Muscat a Petits Grains Blanc - used in IGP Whites


  • Merlot

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

  • Pinot Noir



Traditionally vines were planted in Goblet style, same training method used in Southern Rhone, Beaujolais and other regions throughout France.

New vines are trained using the single Guyot method.
This training style allows for mechanical harvesting, helps to keep labour costs down.

Irrigation is prohibited, only allowed under certain conditions. This applies to all AOC growing areas.



9 AOCs in Corsica and 1 regional AOC 

Cap Corse
Muscat du Cap Corse
Porto Vecchio

Vin de Corse AOC

(regional appellation)

Most of the production comes from the East Coast

Red and Rose wine 

Minimum 50% Niellucciu (Sangiovese) Sciacarellu and Grenache
Blending partners Cinsault, Mourvèdre, Barbarossa, Carignan (max 20%) and Syrah 
1 white variety may be added to the blend Vermentino (Rolle), can not exceed 20%

White wine
Minimum 70% Vermentino (Rolle) 
Maximum 25% Ugni Blanc 


There are 5 sub-appellations within this regional AOC

restrictions on yields, limited to 2.7 tons 


the following make up 45% of AOC wine in Corsica


Coteaux du Cap Corse

Calvi - produces famous Rose - Gris de Calvi



Porto Vecchino 


Red and Rose wine - same blending method as Vin de Corse AOC


White - minimum 75% Vermentino (Rolle) can also include Ugni Blanc and Codivarta in the blend



Ajaccio AOC 


Red and Rose wine

minimum 40% Sciacarello

Blending partners Grenache, Cinsault and a maximum of 15% Carignan


White wine 

minimum 80% Vermentino (Rolle) - Ugni Blanc 



Patrimonio AOC 


1968 - First Appellation 


Red wine 

minimum 90% Niellucciu (Sangiovese) 

Blending partners Grenache, Vermentino and Sciacarello 


Rose wine 

75% Nielluccio

Blending partners Grenache, Vermentino and Sciacarello 


White Wine 

100% Vermentino (Rolle)



Muscat du Cap Corse AOC 


VDN - Vin Doux Naturel (Fortified sweet wine)


100% Muscat a Petit Grains Blanc 


Alcohol 15-18%


Residual sugar more then 9.5%




IGP - Indication Geographique Protégée


60% of wine produced in Corsica is IGP wine


The IGP is 


Ile de Beaute (Island of Beauty)


IGP Mediterranne is produced in smaller amounts - this IGP included the vineyards of The Rhone Valley and Provence 





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