In a natural area located between sea and mountains, a 43 hectares-vineyards only planted in noble grapes, most of them were former Corsican plant, constitute the Domaine de Torraccia. This wonderful landscape was carved by the impressive and charismatic Christian Imbert 38 years ago. It is situated on hillsides granite arena, 10kms far from Porto Vecchio.
Vineyards are ploughed and worked by hand on the row. Every year, in September, rows are alternately sowed of lupine or vesce and rye which, ploughed in in March, are transformed into humus.
The only used treatment products are used “bouillie bordelaise” and “souffre-fleur”. Thus, the vineyard keeps its natural balance and produce healthy grapes giving a maximum of aromas, insuring a yield less than 45 hl.
When C.Imbert arrived in Corsica, he was taken with the raw, savage beauty of the island, the scented scrubland maquis, and the idea of creating something here.
He planted his vineyard in 1964 (he chose the toughest area) on reclaimed scrubland in the hills above Porto Vecchio. To the low-quality high-yields varietals prevailing at that time, he preferred the almost forgotten local grape varietals Sciaccarellu, Niellucciu and Vermentinu. He explains: “I looked around at all of the mediocre wine that was being made with these imported grape varieties and I thought to myself: if I want to make a distinctive wine here, I’m going to have to use the native grape varieties.”
He has been producing consistently excellent wines for over two decades now, including some of the most age-worthy Corsican red wines made. This is a particularly amazing fact, since none of his wines, red or white, are aged in oak barrels; he considers the addition of oak to be uncharacteristic of traditional Corsican wine.
Nowadays, his older son Marc is anxious to build on his father’s work, which includes manual weed control with hoes, not chemicals, and harvesting the grapes by hand. The only treatment they use for controlling mildew in their certified-organic vineyard is bouillie bordelaise, what is known as the “Bordeaux mixture,” a lime-copper-sulfate-water mix, and a sulfur spray. He says that the style of his father’s wines have evolved over the years. “His first wines were more about opulence and making a statement.” He adds “his wines have been more finessed and balanced. We must avoid, at all cost, making wines with a ‘standardized’ taste. Our wines should have the individuality and specificity of this place, and that is where I hope to continue my father’s work.”