Domaine Comte PEraldi owns and cultivates 50 hectares of vineyards on the hillsides of Mezzavia, above the city of Ajaccio. While there is evidence of viticulture in this place in the late 17th century, the current vineyard was established in 1965 by Louis de Poix, who saw the tremendous potential of this land covered by maquis, lying just outside of the city.
Our vineyard is planted on a granitic soil that gives wines their finesse and elegance, with a light colour but intense aromas. The climate is Mediterranean, with mild winters and dry summers, but with a strong influence of the sea and the mountains, due to their proximity. Corsica is also characterized by a very sunny environment, with an average of more than 2600 hours of sunshine during the year. Our vineyards are planted on slopes and hillsides surrounding the gulf of Ajaccio: they benefit from excellent sunlight exposure but remain protected from the island’s frequent winds.
The vines of Domaine Comte PEraldi are old, with an average of 50 years of age. They are mostly Corsican indigenous varieties, planted along with classic Mediterranean varieties: Sciaccarello, Vermentino, Nielluccio, Cinsault, Carignan…
The appellation Ajaccio
Corsica covers 8.680 sq. km of land, on which 5.500 hectares of grapevines are planted. The island boasts 9 Appellations d’Origine Protégée (AOP – Protected Designations of Origin) and one Indication Géographique Protégée (IGP – Protected Geographical Indication). Only two of these have a “cru” status: Patrimonio, which was officially recognized in 1968, and Ajaccio.
This recognition is the result of the efforts of a handful of vignerons, among which Louis de Poix, the founder of Domaine Comte PEraldi . They were the first to acknowledge the very high potential of these lands, and they worked relentlessly to make great wines that express the quality of this terroir. Thanks to their passion and dedication, Ajaccio was officially recognized as an AOP on the 21st of April 1971.
Today, the Ajaccio appellation covers 258 hectares of vineyards, from the Gulf of Porto to the Gulf of Valinco, from the limits of the Corse Calvi appellation, to the northern border of the Corse Sartène appellation. The vineyards are planted on diverse lands, over valleys, hills and slopes, on some of Corsica’s oldest granitic soils.
These sunbathed granitic slopes are the ideal terroir for Sciaccarrello and Vermentino. These two varieties are both mandatory and essential to the character of Ajaccio wines. They are the basis for their aromatic signature and organoleptic profile. The white wines of Ajaccio have the typical floral notes of Vermentino. On the other hand, Sciaccarello is responsible for the elegance, fruitiness and spiciness of the rosé wines, as well as for the supple tannic structure and intense flavours of red berries, blackcurrant and spices of the red wines of Ajaccio.
Birth: 21 April 1971
Maximum yield: 45 hl / ha
Average yiels: 29 hl / ha
Elevation: up to 300m high
Vermentino (at least 80%)
Biancu Gentile, Codivart, Genovese (together: up to 10%)
Red and rosé wines:
Sciaccarello (at least 40%)
Barbarossa, Nielluccio, Vermentino (together with Sciaccarello: at least 60%)
Aleatico, Carcajolo, Minustello (together: up to 10%)
Carignan (up to 15%)
Cinsault, Grenache Noir
We focus primarily on indigenous Corsican varieties, that define the style of the Ajaccio appellation and the signature of our wines.
Sciaccarello literally means “cracks under the tooth”. Whether it is written Sciaccarellu or Sciaccarello, it is characterized by flavours of spices and wild herbs (maquis), of black pepper and red berries, of coffee and wild flowers. Sciaccarello-based wines such as Cuvée du Cardinal have a relatively pale colour but are always very elegant and smooth on the palate.
Niellucciu, or Nielluccio, is related to Tuscany’s Sangiovese: their wines have in common a deep ruby colour, aromas of red and black fruit (red cherry, blackberry, blackcurrant), of violet and of spices (liquorice), and a concentrated palate. Nielluccio is the main grape variety for the red and rosé wines of Patrimonio; it is also an important part of the blends of our Domaine Peraldi red and rosé wines.
Vermentino or Vermentinu is found in Provence under the name of Rolle and can also be called “malvoisie de Corse” (Corsican Malvasia). It has a distinct floral character on the nose and is appreciated for the full body, structure and richness it brings to dry white wines. Vermentino-based wines can either be made in an unoaked style, like our Domaine Péraldi white wine, or fermented and/or aged in oak vessels like our cuvée Clémence.
Viticulture and winemaking
The 50 hectares of vineyards of Domaine Comte PEraldi are managed following sustainable viticultural practices. We firmly believe that great wines cannot be made without top quality grapes. During every season, we closely monitor the vineyards to guarantee optimal growing conditions: we adapt pruning and trellising to each variety’s needs and each vineyard’s environment, we maintain low yields (up to 40 hl/ha)…
We have put into place a semi-permanent grass cover in the vineyards’ rows. The cover improves the soil structure and its composition, enriching it with nutrients that the vines can feed on. In winter, it also provides food to the flock of sheep that spend several weeks grazing on our lands.
Domaine Comte PEraldi ‘s cellars were built in the late 1960s and are equipped with concrete vats for the maceration and fermentation of our red wines. Our white and rosé wines are vinified in temperature controlled stainless steel vats, in order to keep the freshness of their aromas and their purity of fruit.
Ageing takes place in our partially underground cellar, where temperatures stay cool throughout the year. It is equipped with concrete vats, stainless steel tanks and a barrel room that holds more than 200 French oak barrels. Our red wines undergo a long period of ageing, in order for them to become smoother, with softer tannins, better balance and seamless integration. They spend two winters in the cellars (at least 16 months ageing), whether in vats, tanks, barrels, or in bottles after tirage.