History of Corsican wine
The history of Corsican wine is the legacy of a know-how and a wine-growing tradition that date back to Antiquity, with the arrival of the Greeks on the island of beauty.
It continues with the Romans then the Genoese who developed the Corsican vineyard. After the cession of Corsica to France, the reputation of the winegrowers is such that they continue their activity and their exports, in particular to Italy.
At the end of the 19th century, phylloxera destroyed 85% of Corsican vines, causing a collapse in production and a real economic disaster. The Corsican viticulture will then be subject to a new decline during the two world wars.
In the 1960s, with the arrival of repatriates from Algeria, new farms of disproportionate proportions appeared. These industrial methods with exceptional yields are totally out of step with the traditional Corsican vineyards made up of small estates of 1 to 2 hectares.
There was a strong demand for a cheap table wine during the 60s and 70s. This trend benefited the industrialists who, thanks to their intensive operations, offered a mediocre wine but at an unbeatable cost. The small producers, with their much higher production costs, could not fight and sank one after the other.
In 1974, a campaign called for a boycott of Corsican wines following a financial scandal affecting several large merchants and industrial winegrowers. This collapse will provoke a revolt of the winegrowers, crystallized by the events of Aléria in 1975. Following this, the government will take a series of measures putting an end to industrial exploitations in Corsica and again opening the way to the reconstruction of quality viticulture.
In 1968, Patrimonio obtained the first controlled designation of origin in Corsica and since then the quality of Patrimonio’s red wines has been increasingly recognized.