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Regions

Comprehensive description of all European growing areas, their grape varieties, traditions and legal rules with maps.

Description to Corsica

The approximately 8,700 km² large island (French Corse) lies 160 kilometres southeast of the French coast. In the 6th century BC, Corsica was settled by the Phoenicians, who called it Korai (covered with forest). In the middle of the 3rd century B.C. the island came under Roman rule. Around 1,000 AD, Pisa gained supremacy and reactivated viticulture, which had deteriorated due to the fall of the Roman Empire. From the end of the 13th century onwards, Genoa took over the rule. Christopher Columbus (1451-1506) was probably born in Calvi on the north-western coast. In 1572 the Genoese issued a decree that each family had to plant four vines. The island was sold to France in 1768 and one year later Napoleon (1769-1821) was born in Ajaccio. As emperor, he granted his homeland the special privilege of selling wine without paying taxes. In the middle of the 19th century, there were still some 20,000 hectares of vineyards and three quarters of the population lived from growing wine. A total decline was caused by phylloxera.

It was not until the beginning of the 1960s that Algeria-France revitalized viticulture. They planted mass production varieties on a large scale and Corsica became the wine lake of Europe. In the 1980s, the EU initiated the clearing of vineyards. The mass carriers were replaced on a large scale by noble grape varieties and the vineyard area was reduced to about 7,500 hectares today. This has contributed greatly to an increase in quality. The climate is sunnier than in the motherland France, with hot summers and sunny autumns with little rain. However, the location on the Mediterranean Sea and the many mountains cause relatively large weather fluctuations with different climatic conditions in the different areas.

Red wines are produced to 50%, rosé wines to 40% and white wines to 10%. Important red wine varieties are Aleatico, Alicante Henri Bouschet, Barbarossa, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carcajolo Noir(Parraleta), Carignan Noir(Mazuelo), Cinsaut, Merlot, Nielluccio(Sangiovese), Sciaccarello(Mammolo) and Syrah; important white wine varieties are Biancone, Biancu Gentile, Carcajolo Blanc(Bariadorgia), Genovese(Scimiscià), Malvoisie de Corse or Vermentinu(Vermentino), Muscat Blanc and Ugni Blanc(Trebbiano Toscano). The areas are:

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