France - Corsica - Poggio d'Oletta
Muriel Giudicelli, whose parents hail from the same village in Corsica, was always enthralled with the French island 120 miles off the coast of Provence. Even though she grew up mostly outside of Corsica—her parents were teachers who worked around the world, including on mainland France—she traveled back to the island frequently to stay with family during vacations. When the wine bug eventually bit, Muriel knew that Corsica was where she wanted to settle.
Like many vignerons who aren’t born into a winemaking family, her path to wine came through university courses, where she undertook agricultural and soil studies. Wary of modern enology, Muriel took the unconventional route of training with small domaines all over France to learn the craft, while waiting for any good opportunities to arise in Patrimonio, in the north of Corsica.
During her studies, she had befriended Antoine Arena, who, one day in 1996, called her up and told her about a retiring vigneron with terrific old vines, no children to take over, in a great part of Patrimonio, who was looking to sell. Muriel jumped at the opportunity, bought those 5 hectares of vines, and in 1997 began making wine. From day one, she farmed organically. She obtained organic certification in 2006 and biodynamic certification in 2012.
Muriel’s original holdings, as well as newer ones she has added since then, are all in the highly regarded Campo Gallo (“field of the rooster”) sub-region of Patrimonio, distinct due to its diverse pockets of green clay, red clay, granite, schist, and limestone. Yves Leccia’s parcels border hers. Today she has 10 hectares in total, which she works with her husband (he’s in charge of the vines, she’s in charge of the cellar) and only one employee.
Since 1997, Muriel has avoided the easy sale of the local market. Her main market has been and is still Paris. She wanted to make wine for wine lovers, not primarily for tourists, and was inspired by Antoine Arena’s vision of making Corsica and Patrimonio known beyond its borders and respected for its quality. With her Patrimonio whites and reds, Muriel has joined Antoine in cementing this legacy!