How & why I decided to grow old vines
Written by Yves Leccia, published in
As you probably already know, I am deeply attached to my heritage; I try every day to preserve it and to make it live in time. It was certainly against a background of nostalgia that I made the somewhat bold decision a few years ago to diversify the estate's production by reintroducing old grape varieties.
In 2006, I planted the endemic white grape variety Biancu Gentile; an initiative which, I must say, was encouraged by the promising results of the Corsican Viticultural Research Centre, which had tested the indigenous variety on small plots. Clearly committed to the preservation of my terroir, I am not stopping there. I am working on red grape varieties by planting Minustellu and Sciaccarellu, which are varieties that my ancestors, especially my father, used to grow. Today, I believe that they fully participate in the ampelographic heritage that makes up the wealth and identity of our beautiful Corsica. These grape varieties bring an extra soul to my wines.
People often ask me why I made these choices. The answer is really simple: I (re)planted these varieties to diversify the quality of the existing grape varieties, to increase the typicity and to bring complexity while improving the quality of the production. Among the many "tests" that we have carried out since the 1990s at the estate, I have only kept the Biancu Gentile, with which we have created a fully-fledged cuvée which today has its place on the menu of the best restaurants. I have also decided to continue my work on the Minustellu with the aim of improving the blending of my reds. Cuvée to come in the 2015 vintage...
The reintroduction of such varieties requires an adaptation of my work in the vineyards, because these plants had been abandoned more or less because of their sensitivity to certain diseases and the weakness of their yield. Today, with more precise techniques, we can cultivate these grape varieties all the more easily as they are already adapted to the local climate and we are no longer looking for high yields, on the contrary!
Now you know everything about this beautiful adventure! If you want to have the taste of Corsica in your mouth, I invite you to discover our cuvée L'Altru Biancu, and, in a few months only, our brand new red cuvée...
A salute !