A hidden jewel in Corsica
Look for a Wine Estate and find a Paradise !
Last summer, I had the chance to spend a week at friend’s place, a few kilometers from Ajaccio, the capital of Corsica, a French island in the Mediterranean Sea. After a lazy sunny day, like every day, we were having a glass of wine admiring the sunset over the blue sea. It was a Corsican wine, of course, but this one caught my attention, smooth and brutal at the same time, with a silky and intense flavor. It was called la Cuvée Casteddu produced by Domaine Saparale. The next day I decided to go and visit the winery. But what I found it was not only a winery …
It was simply a piece of paradise, nestled in a hilly area that you can easily miss unless you see the little sign placed right after a curve. As if it was purposely done to divert any visitors ! The road follows a curving river, narrows progressively, untill you cross a bridge and discover on your left a beautiful alley of plane trees, with old vines on each side of the road which leads you to a cluster of charming, authentic, and welcoming stoned houses.
From Africa to Corsica
The buildings are more than 150 years ! Once upon a time … 1845 Philippe de Rocca Serra, left his Mediterranean island to conquer Africa. But Nostalgia prevailed and he returned to Corsica to fulfill his dream: to establish the most exemplary rural areas that would showcase the best of his dearest island. At home, in the Valley of Ortolo, he undertook a « pharaonic » project: planting 100 acres of vines with Corsican grape varieties only, olive trees, a citrus orchard fruit trees, cattle in the meadows … a cellar and buildings to house all kind of trade. More than a hundred workers arrived daily from neighboring villages to work in the vineyard. Thus was born the Saparale Estate, that would become one of the renowned and respected areas today. Precursor, Corsican wine Saparale gained unexpected success. As Philippe de Rocca Serra went against the current trend of the times and chose local varieties rather than high producing grape varieties: the Saparale wine quickly gained national fame and won a gold medal in 1900. Unfortunately, phylloxera swept through the valley and the vineyards had to be re cultivated from scratch. The changing socio-economic conditions, local banditry already active as well as disorders of the war furthermore caused the decline of the area. The area was proudly re established in the late 20s. For 60 years, the area plunged into a doze, marking nature to resume its rights. In 1995, a new impulse was given by Philippe Farinelli. The buildings are coming slowing being renovated, the vineyard has become more beautiful than ever as well as its wines…
Stoned houses turned into somptuous villas
Mrs Farinelli, who liked to be named Julie, turned some of those houses into a secret, intimate and delightful home stay, ideal for 2 to 3 families, or couples who want to escape the busy Corsican summer life. The houses in the hamlet make up one of those rare places where you feel immediately at home. A unique location for a dream holiday: living the château lifestyle whilst breathing in the atmosphere of a family home. Each house has its own privacy, swimming pool with a breathtaking view of the countryside, the mountains and the vineyards of course ! Julie can arrange everything you need to make your stay unforgettable: private dinner, hiking, horse back riding, massage, …unless you want to do simply nothing. This is the option we recommend you !
Other recommendation is to book well in advance! Known by only the happy few but long time repeaters! Contact us on : firstname.lastname@example.org