Thursday, May 6, 2010


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.”

By Juliette

Prior to building his vineyard in Corsica in 1964, Christian Imbert led a nomad life in Chad then in Africa. After numerous experiences in all over the world, he discovered Corcisa and chose to locate his vineyard in this land of predilection: 300 days of sunshine in a typical year, magnificent views of the Mediterranean.

First of all, he was dazzled by the wild side of the landscape and its unkindness. Then, he was convinced that he could make profits from this land and produce good wines. However, it was both dangerous and ingenious to work on this kind on land. Indeed, in the south, the ground is very rude. He explained that he looked around at all wines which were low-quality produced so he wanted to make his wine more distinctive.

Christian Imbert is audacious and passionate in what he does. He arrived in Corsica and planted his vineyard on reclaimed scrubland in the hills above Porto Vecchio in 1964. Thanks to his determination and his perseverance, he succeeded to establish himself as a recognized winemaker.

Today, his son Marc plans to continue building on his father’s work. However, he is apprehensive about how to rule this business. He explains that the styles and techniques of his father have evolved and he has to deal with. He has the mission to keep their wines individuals and specifics and it is this uniqueness that they strive for.

By Isabelle

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