A Snapshot of Corsica Geology

June 12, 2019

I first visited Corsica a number of years ago and was struck by the sheer complexity of this island’s geographical profile. Affectionately referred to as the l’Île de Beauté  by the French, and famously “a mountain in the sea” by the German geographer, Friedrich Ratzel, Corsica is one of France’s (and formerly Italy’s) most spectacular departments, and the fourth largest island in...[ read more ]

The drive between Sartène and Porto Vecchio is beautiful and the day’s sunny, cool, windy weather was perfect for this cinematic dreamscape. We drove by the famous natural sculpture, Lion de Rocapinne, a granite outcrop atop a hill shaped like a perched lion that faced south, like it was guarding the island. The lion’s mythological story is of an impossible...[ read more ]

Corsica landscape

After two exhausting days on the Corsican wine trail I passed on our first two visits of the third day to try to catch up with some work while I had good access to wifi. It was a tough decision because the first one was a tasting with Sebastien Poly, a young biodynamic vigneron, followed by another meeting with Abbatucci...[ read more ]

Domaine A Peraccia Prestige

We left the city center and went to the east about fifteen kilometers for our last stop of the day. The dirt in this part of Corsica is grainy and sandy granite. Our visit was with Laurent Costa, a bear of a man and the owner and vigneron of Domaine A Peraccia. Laurent came in from the cellar as we...[ read more ]

Emmanuel Gagnepain

We stopped on our way from Propriano to Ajaccio to visit the land that Manu and Jean-Charles intend to plant with vines next year. It sits up at around 550-600 meters, making it the highest site on the island. The soil is primarily granite and the slope is treacherous. It’s surrounded by forest on three sides and on the fourth,...[ read more ]

The fog lifted by the time we started back over the schist mountains toward the eastern side of the island to visit one of Manu’s most colorful clients, Josée Vanucci, from Clos Fornelli. We crested the ridge and as we wrapped around the last hill we were greeted by a stunning view of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Once we hit the...[ read more ]


As we drove Manu’s truck off the ferry we began our ascent from the base of the mountains to the west of Bastia. A crooked road led us up and out of the town with high walls of deformed schist to our right, black from the previous night’s rain, bent in every direction. The fog was dense and flowed like...[ read more ]

Corsica landscape

I meant to write something about my experience in Corsica last year, but I was overwhelmed and couldn’t get it together. I went with my wife, Andrea, and Emmanuel (Manu) Gagnepain, a very well-respected enologist and viticulturist who quietly consults with a large helping of top clients in Corsica—Abbatucci, Vaccelli and Sebastian Poly are a few highlights. We made twelve...[ read more ]