Saint-Florent, Corsica, France
Domaine Gentile was founded by Viviane and Dominique Gentile in 1968. Today, Gentile is led by second generation winemaker, Jean-Paul Gentile. Their 30 hectares of vineyards sit upon the clay-limestone soils within the Patrimonio and Corsican Cape's Muscat wine AOPs centered in the Gulf de Saint Florent region of northern Corsica. Gentile produces wines based on Niellucciu, Malvoisie and Muscat.
Introducing Domaine Gentile
The vineyards that range between the Mediterranean Sea and the mountain’s foothills have been farmed organically since the domaine’s founding, and Gentile was officially certified in 2013. The first of four vineyards that make up the estate is Piedi Pinzuti, a pyramidal plot within the low plains of Patrimonio made up of thin limestone shale and very little soil to speak of. The two mid-elevation vineyards are Basolaja and Force. While still rocky, there is much more clay and silt holding together the limestone at these sites. Pelosella, the fourth vineyard, is on the steep, rocky slopes going up to a cliff called “Patrimonio laces”. The limestone elements, varied altitudes, and excellent drainage contribute to the balance and concentration of Gentile’s ageable wines. The wines also achieve a depth of character due to the varied wind patterns that crisscross the vineyards as the air passes between the mountains and the sea.
The Domaine Gentile estate is undergoing a constant state of transformation under the leadership of Jean-Paul Gentile. Jean-Paul joined his parents in 1994 after completing his studies in Oenology and has instilled a philosophy of constant improvements in quality and sustainability. Gentile strives to be conscientious of the environment believing that organic farming and winemaking is rewarded with a better wine in the end. In the vineyard, Gentile uses reasoned and limited treatments but never uses herbicides. Seeking a deeper standard than is required of organic certification, Jean-Paul has avoided the use of copper as years pass. Instead, he has used a combination of orange zest, horsetail, and clay to dry the vines leaves to control rot and mildew. This addresses the conditions that lead to disease pressure rather than trying to kill off the mold and other harmful microbes. Yields are limited, machines are used less every year in the vineyard, and all harvesting and sorting is done by hand. In the cellar, the process adheres to the standards of modern organic winemaking, so the wines aren't just made with organic grapes. Additionally the cellar is underground to create an efficient environment for the wines with regulated temperatures and humidity.