Corsican Cuisine & Local Wine Culture
With its snow-capped peaks, lush green forests, pristine rivers, dramatic coastline, white sandy beaches and blue turquoise waters, Corsica is a very special place in the Mediterranean. It's no wonder why the French call it "The Island of Beauty."
Corsica's history is as rich as its natural beauty. It has been coveted and occupied by every major super power in the Mediterranean since the Greeks until it was finally bought by the French in 1769. This has resulted in a strong sense of identity that prevades everything Corsicans do whether it's defending their language in the local schools, selling their cheeses, cured meats and other local specialties at the market, or perhaps above all, making wine. As a fellow wine lover you know that very few things capture a sense of place as well as wine does. So what better way to discover the true Corsican identity then by getting to know its wines and terroir. Today you will do just that.
Your guide today will be sommelier and cruise host Kelly McAuliffe, who is passionate about Corsican wines and excited to introduce you to two of his favorite winemakers. First you will start with a tour of the Ajaccio market where you will taste a few of the island's specialties including their renowned cured meats and cheeses. After the market you will head to the prestigious Domaine Comte Peraldi for a visit and tasting. First planted in the 16th century this family run estate emphasizes indigenous grapes such as Sciaccarellu and Niellucciu grown on the granite slopes overlooking the Gulf of Ajaccio.
Following your visit Kelly will take you to one of his favorite local restaurants. During lunch he will guide you on a journey across the island's different terroirs and grape varieties. You will learn more about key producers and how they express Corsica's identity through their wines.
After this delicious and informative lunch you will make your way to Close Ornasca. Winemaker Laetitia Tola will welcome you for a visit and tasting of her vibrant wines based on the two most important grapes in Corsica, Sciaccarellu and Vermentinu, before heading back to the ship.