Travel Posts

Wine-Tasting in Corsica at Clos Capitoro

If I’d been asked a few years ago to make a list of travel destinations I knew little or nothing about, Corsica would have been quite near the top. There are certainly more exotic places  – China, India, and surely many places in the Pacific Islands – but they seem more “accessible” to the travel mind than “wild” Corsica.

ajaccio corsica
View of Ajaccio from neighboring Porticcio.

Admittedly, my pre-trip visions were confined to an odd mix of Napoleon, pirates, and the occasional wild boar.  Which were all quickly disbanded (except the boar, they’re scary as heck), when we took a ferry from Sardinia to Bonifacio (Corsica) on the last leg of our honeymoon this past July.

corsica napoleon
Village restaurant named after Corsica’s most famous son.

Driving up the western side of the island, we stayed at a “rustic” hotel just outside Porticcio (read: budget).  And even though we didn’t come across any modern-day pirates, the scenery was indeed a bit “savage” – miles & miles of tree-lined mountains broken up by the occasional, gorgeous, hilltown.

clos capitoro
Domaine Clos Capitoro, outside Porticcio.

Porticcio itself is a coastal town and very much a glamorous getaway (they’ve got a Sofitel Thalassa, for pete’s sake) from grittier Ajaccio which lies 20 minutes to the north.  Beyond being seduced by the sandy beaches and turquoise waters, we were pleased to stumble-upon another local gem we hadn’t counted on: wine.

The wines around Porticcio fall under the Ajaccio appellation and although we tasted several wines on meals out, we were managed to visit only one domaine:  Clos Capitoro.

chickensWe tasted whites, reds, and rosés, and even got a little up-close-and-personal with a few of their farm animals.  The visit was, in a word, (très) charming.

And staying at a budget accommodation meant that we were able to splurge on dinners and local products – particularly dried & cured meats (salamis & lonzo), goat cheeses, and Corsican liqueurs – not to mention a few bottles from Capitoro & a sparkling Muscato (what makes les femmes go crazy…according to one “knowledgeable” Corsican who, surprisingly, spoke very good Italian).

But a small word of warning for any would-be island travelers:  although the era of pirates has clearly passed, a bit of the “wild side” still remains -expect to pay for almost everything in cash. 

corsica beach
Heading to the beach at Porticcio.

So if you find yourself at a village-dinner high in the hills of Corsica, make sure to leave your credit cards at home.  Thankfully we didn’t have to wash any dishes, but it certainly made me wonder whether ordering that extra crème brûlée was a good idea. Well… I think we all know the answer to that one. Bien sûr! Of course it was!
 

Learn More about Corsica Travel & Ajaccio Wines:

Corsica Travel Guide – Lonely Planet

High in the Hills of Corsica – NY Times 

Best Beaches on Corsica – Telegraph Travel

Why Go France – Corsica

Ajaccio Wine Appellation – Wine Travel Guides 

Map of Ajaccio Wine Region – Vinopedia

About Tuula

I’m a 40-ish American woman & I’ve been blogging about my travels around belle Provence since moving here in 2010. You can also find my travel writing in International Living magazine, Charming Small Hotels (France), & Living France magazine. Bienvenue!

17 comments on “Wine-Tasting in Corsica at Clos Capitoro

  1. Beautiful Island; I have heard the wines from Corsica are very refreshing wines. My cousins go almost every summer for a week to Corsica with friends of theirs from Montpelier who have a family home on the Island. Their son came to spend a month with us in the US and I am hoping they will invite us to come with my cousins sometime when we are in France. I never have cash so I will have to plan accordingly.

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    • That sounds like a great opportunity to visit, Michel. I have a feeling you like good wines 🙂 so you will surely love the Corsican ones! Also, the food is great and makes an interesting change from what we find on “mainland” France. Here’s hoping you get to go very soon!

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  2. How wonderful, Tuula! I’ve never been to Corsica before. It seemed like something out of history books not a REAL place. 🙂 So beautiful. 🙂

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    • How true Krista, I felt exactly the same way before we went. Since so many folks down here rave about it, figured it was time to go check it out! Thanks for your comment & bon weekend 🙂

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  3. Kenya Galdamez

    A treasure to be discovered. Having come back from LA, hollywood blv to be exact about an hour ago, I find myself really enjoying old, intact, wild places. Corsica looks like that. Beautiful in its simplicity. Thanks for sharing dear

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    • Thanks Kenya – glad you liked it and totally get the Hollywood blvd. thing, quite a different sort of “wild” spot, isn’t it…well, we’ll have to add Corsica to our list of Must-Do travels together! Bon weekend bella

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  4. Tuula! This post is so timely. D and I head to Corsica on Fri evening for our 1st wedding anniversary. It’ll be a quick trip this time but we are looking forward to it. We will head only as far south as Ajaccio, after stops in Bastia, Ile Rousse, and Calvi…BUT we do have a stop planned for a winery in Corte. They produce bio wines sans sulphites, yeast, etc. I’ll let you know how the tasting goes. We’ve already sampled some Corsican wines courtesy of a restaurateur in Paris who is, of course, from Corsica.

    And yes, the cured meats and the cheeses… We can’t wait! Thanks for sharing!!!
    Bisous!

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    • Oh yay, Tanya, so excited for you! That will be a wonderful 1st anniversary trip. Please be sure to post about your wine experience – especially since it’s going to be bio – we didn’t come across any bio vineyards, would be nice to hear about their production / philosophy. Looking forward to hearing all about it and happy anniversary!

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  5. Oh, what I wouldn’t give to be back in Corsica right now! Great post Tuula! Corsica is by far one of my favorite destinations!

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    • Thanks Lindsey! Can’t wait to get back to Corsica too – such a beautiful place…hope you can visit soon as well 🙂

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  6. Anonymous

    Holy macaroni! we did our honeymoon in Sardinia from July 08-21, 2011! When were you there?!!!!!

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    • Anonymous

      Ha ha ha…hilarious! We left Sardinia on July 1st for Corsica – just missed you! Maybe the next time around…?? 🙂

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      • Anonymous

        That’s crazy!!! Did you love it? Did you eat as much pecorino and bitter honey as us? Where did you go? Where did you get married?

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      • Yep, Sardinia was incredible…geez, we have fantasies of buying a home there! (quite a fantasy 🙂 So wonderful…. we were in Cala Gonone which I recommend 100% – and yes, we ate for days… can’t wait to go back again. Where did you stay?

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      • 2 days Caligari, 3 days Santa Maria Navarrese, 5 in Cala Gonone and 2 in San Teodoro! It was freaking awesome! I can’t believe we were in the same town! What hotel did you stay at? Did you like it? We were at Villa Gustui Maris.

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      • A fantastic trip! We stayed at the Bue Marino in Cala Gonone – loved it. Views of the sea & also the really cool bar/lounge (that belonged to the hotel) right across the street. Spent many evenings there watching the sunset (trés romantique 🙂

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      • So beautiful! We went there every night for apertivo! Best cocktails in Cala Gonone for sure!

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