Gael, in a few words, what is it that you do for a living?
I am an Oenologist. I accompany the development of a wine from the vineyard right the way through to the consumer. I advise the winemakers on how best to grow and harvest the grapes. I manage the unit where the grapes are fermented to make the wine. It is my job to work on the breeding and the combination of certain grape varieties that create a particular “cuvée” (a type, blend or batch of wine) that is ready for the consumer. And finally, it is the stages of conditioning and aging that reveal the quality of the wines and express the “terroir” (the complete natural environment in which a wine is produced, including factors such as the soil, topography, and climate). As the process evolves, I rely upon the analysis and the tasting of the grapes and wines in order to adapt to the requirements of the vintage and the characteristics of the “terroirs”.
What do you like about Corsican wines and what makes them special?
Corsican wines are intimately linked to the island’s history and their very specific geography, topography and climate. The insular nature of the island has meant that the wine is very specific to the tastes of the local people. The varied geography of the island does also create some important nuances in the tastes of the wines across the island. This diversity is also expressed by the different native grape varieties. The red wines are silky smooth and married with hints of the local wild maquis (or scrub), provided by the local grape varieties. During the maturation process the red wines can gain great complexity thanks to the maquis, which is full of herbs and spices. The white wines have a good acidic balance, which is rare for wines in the Mediterranean. Characteristic of the whites is also the delicate floral and citrus overtones that bring a celebration of summer. The Corsican rosés really do stand out from the crowd, thanks to their mineral balance. The rosés have a delicate and complex citrus overtone, giving them a wonderful finesse.
How do you see Corsican wine evolving in the future?
Corsica should really become well known for its production of rosé wine and should continue to occupy the largest volumes of production in the future. In white, the development of different Corsican grape varieties will mean a continuation in the evolution of aromas and taste ranges. We will see a greater diversity of wines depending upon their very specific “terroirs”. In red, the constant progress made in the vineyards and the desire to give the wines more time to mature, will make it possible to create a stronger Corsican identity and to give an additional elegance to the wines.
What would be your recommendation to accompany Jof’s beignet de fromage?
A duet of white and red. First the white, AOP Corse blanc domaine Lucciardi "Signora Catalina 2018", then the red, domaine de la Punta rouge 2014.