The wines of Corsica are seldom seen outside France and its Mediterranean island – and like the island and its people they tend to be fiercely indiviualistic. It is usually found under the island-wide appellation of Vin de Pays de l’Île de Beauté. Probably a sweet Muscat is most popular, but some more serious wines are found, particularly in Patrimonio (2B, Haute Corse) on the island’s northwest, which has its own AOP (appellation d’origine protegé). The three leading grape varieties of the region are Nielluccio, Sciacarello and Vermentino.
The village of Patrimonio lies at the foot of the Cap Corse – a stunning peninsula with the vineyards squeezed between the mountains and the clear blue seas of the Mediterranean – a beautiful landscape and climate. The village itself is small, but worth a visit – or visit the nearby port and resort of Saint Florent (2B, Haute Corse)for all the usual facilities and an impressive citadelle. If you have the time it is worth taking the coast road around the peninsula to Bastia.
A vineyard that is easily accessible is Clos Santini, which has a shop and tasting room on the road (D81) from Saint Florent to Patrimonio and offers some good white, rosé and red wines and a Muscat which is not too sweet.
There are numerous hotels in Saint Florent, but the Hotel du Vignoble is situated right in the heart of Patrimonio village and is owned by a wine-making family – wine tastings and a restaurant serving traditional Corsican fare are also on offer.! There are also B&Bs and self-catering villas to rent in the area.