Domaine Comte Abbatucci

by Chris Santini


When Jean-Charles Abbatucci returned home to the family farm in Corsica after a long leave of absence, he found something curious. Here he was, in the heart of Corsica, an island with a distinct language and culture, where just about everything is uniquely Corsican, as opposed to French. He stood overlooking his vineyards, where native wild herbs such as Immortelle de Corse, Népita, and Myrthe thrived, a sight unseen in any other part of the world. Yet in the middle of so much uniqueness lay what Jean-Charles called “the Foreign Legion”: row upon row of French vines, mainly Grenache, Cinsault, and Carignan. While there’s nothing wrong with those varieties, the curiosity was that next to the sprawling rows of French vines were just a couple of short, neglected rows of native, unique Corsican varieties—Carcajolu-Neru, Paga Debbiti, Morescola, and Montaneccia, to name a few.

dsc_0172Jean-Charles’s father had planted the French vines years ago, doing what was necessary to make a living, given that the French varietals were all there was a market for. For Jean-Charles, though, the mission was clear. His father had had the foresight and tenacity to maintain a few plants of all the indigenous varieties that had fallen out of vogue, so Jean-Charles set about sending the Foreign Legion home and replanting the native vines in their proper habitat.

The result was nearly instantaneous. The native fauna and flora immediately reconnected with the vines, each of which found its part to play in the complex ecosystem it was best suited for. Spraying harmful, foreign chemicals seemed counterproductive, so Jean-Charles converted to organic, then biodynamic, farming, applying the principle that if he couldn’t eat it, it wasn’t getting sprayed on his vines. He now uses local weeds and plants to make infusions for homeopathic vineyard treatments.

The Diplomate blanc, Général blanc, and Ministre rouge are from the original Corsican varietal holdouts that spawned the revolution. The Diplomate is rich, exotic, and appealing; the Général is taut and firm, herbal and aromatic; and the Ministre is powerful, smoky, and mineral at the same time. All are monuments to the grandeur of the forgotten Corsican varietals.

per bottle

per case

2014 Cuvée Collection Blanc
“Diplomate d’Empire” >



2014 Cuvée Collection Blanc
“Général de la Révolution” >



2014 Cuvée Collection Rouge
“Ministre Impérial” >




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