1605 SAN PABLO AVENUE, BERKELEY, CA 94702   |   510.524.1524

KERMIT LYNCH WINE MERCHANT

Technical Information

Wine Blend Vine Age Soil Type Vineyard Area*
Bianco Gentile
Bianco Gentile Planted in 1997 Clay, Limestone .5 ha
Muscat du Cap Corse
Muscat à Petit Grains Planted in 1982, 1992, 1995 Clay, Limestone 1 ha
Patrimonio Blanc
Carco
Vermentinu Planted in 1987 Chalk, Clay, Limestone 1 ha
Patrimonio Blanc
Grotte di Sole
Vermentinu 60 years Clay, Limestone 1 ha
Patrimonio Blanc
Haut de Carco
Vermentinu PLanted in 2003 Limestone 1 ha
Patrimonio Rosé
80% Niellucciu, 20% Vermentinu N/A Chalk, Clay, Limestone .5 ha
Patrimonio Rouge
Carco
Niellucciu Planted in 1987 Chalk, Clay, Limestone 2 ha
Patrimonio Rouge
Grotte di Sole
Niellucciu 60 years Clay, Limestone 2 ha
Patrimonio Rouge
"Morta Maio"
Niellucciu Planted in 2001 Clay, Limestone 2 ha
Patrimonio Rouge
“Cuvée Zero”
Niellucciu Planted in 2001 Clay, Limestone N/A
* "ha" = hectares; one hectare equals roughly two and a half acres

VITICULTURE / VINIFICATION

• Corsican spellings of grape varietals


Whites:

• Hand harvested (yields usually around 40 hl/ha)

• Natural fermentation, low doses of sulfur, cement cuve, no wood

• Long fermentations, then wines are aged for 6 to 8 months on fine lees

• Wines complete malolactic fermentation

• Most vintages are bottled unfiltered


Reds:

• Hand harvested (yields usually around 35 hl/ha)

• Natural fermentation, with infrequent doses of sulfur, cement cuve, no oak

• Long macerations from 6 to 9 weeks, with regular punch-downs

• Long élévages, up to 2 years

• No fining, no filtration


Patrimonio Rosé:

• Rosé is mostly made saignée method

• Malolactic fermentation is always completed

• Vines are mostly situated in the “Morta Maio” vineyard


Carco:

The Carco vineyard is on an eastern facing slope, cleared of its maquis and planted in 1987 by Antoine. The name of the parcel, Carco, dates back to at least Napoleonic times, and in Corsican means “busy,” most likely due to the fact that it was covered in densely planted olive trees at that time, before being abandoned. Two different wines come from this vineyard: the Patrimonio Carco Rouge, from Niellucciu (1ha). Niellucciu (Corsican spelling) vines are the descendants of Sangiovese vines brought to Patrimonio by Pisans in the 12th century when Corsica was a part of the Republic of Pisa. “Niel” in Corsican means black, and “lucciu” is an endearing term for something small, thus the name given to the grape for its dark color and small berries. While Niellucciu and Sangiovese are indeed cousins, the Niellucciu of Patrimonio has had nearly nine centuries to adapt to the particularities of the local terroir. The second wine is the Patrimonio Carco Blanc (2ha), 100% Vermentinu. (Vermentinu arrived in Patrimonio well before Niellucciu, although the date of its arrival is still unclear). Both the rouge and blanc from this parcel are marked by a limestone nerve and minerality.


Haut de Carco:

The Haut de Carco is the most recently planted parcel, sitting directly above the Carco, and containing even harder, thicker limestone than the Carco. In fact, nothing grew there before. The Arenas cleared rocks and blasted holes for over a year in the rock to plant Vermentinu (much to the awe of their neighbors who were convinced that the vines would never take). The first harvest was in 2008.


Grotte di Sole:

Meaning “sunny grottoes” in Corsican, this parcel takes its name from its direct southern facing exposure. As the name suggests, this terroir on clay-limestone soils gives the ripest grapes from the property. Patrimonio Grotte di Sole Rouge (2 ha), 100% Niellucciu, and Patrimonio Grotte di Sole Blanc (1ha), 100% Vermentinu, both come from this parcel. These vines average 60 years of age, and are from the original holdings of the Arena family, going back to at least the 18th century. These wines tend to be rich and round, but Antoine takes pains to harvest early and never allows for excessive maturity.


“Morta Maio”:

The Morta Maio vineyard was planted in 2001 with only Niellucciu. There is just a single cuvée from this parcel, the Patrimonio “Morta Maio” Rouge. This is often the most approachable of the reds when young—dark, earthy, chewy and juicy.

Morta Maio translates as “The Eldest Myrtle.” Morta = Myrtle in Corsican, the shrub that makes up the bulk of the maquis in Patrimonio. (In other parts of Corsica they spell Morta as Murtha, where you can see more of the resemblance to the word Myrtle). Maio = The Eldest, or the oldest. This parcel, which has belonged to the Arena family for over 400 years, immediately surrounds their house and was used as brush pasture for the donkeys who worked the vines. Since the parcel has been in use for so long (longer than the 400 years it has belonged to the Arenas) the term “Maio” was added to it.


Bianco Gentile:

Bianco Gentile is a variety native to the island, which was considered lost until a small parcel was found up the highlands of Corsica. Antoine and a small group of vigneron friends took some cuttings from that last remaining vineyard, and planted it back on his property, effectively saving it from extinction. Patrimonio regulations, drawn up when the grape was considered extinct, don't allow for its use in the A.O.C., so the wine is simply a Vin de Table. The parcel is situated between the Carco and Grotte di Sole vineyards.


Muscat du Cap Corse:

There is also a small parcel of Muscat à Petits Grains that goes into the Muscat du Cap Corse cuvée. It is a low-yielding parcel, which is then fortifies with Corsican grappa, as tradition and A.O.C. rules require. His Muscat is never over the top nor syrupy but is always floral and delicate. The Arenas also produce a small quantity of unfortified Muscat that is mostly consumed locally.


Patrimonio Rouge “Cuvée Zero”:
A completely no-sulfur blend, vinified in cement and stainless steel tanks. All fruit comes from the Morta Maio vineyard.