Kermit Lynch’s Corsican King
The story of Antoine Arena mirrors that of Corsica. Native to the island, he – as with many fellow Corsicans – left for the French mainland in the 60’s in search of a better future. The independence movement which rocked Corsica in the mid-70’s stirred up a great deal of contention between nationalists and the French government. Full of pride and worry for Corsica’s future, Arena left a good job and resumed his life on his home turf. With his wife and two young sons, he brought his family farm back to life with the goal of asserting the power and beauty of Corsica to continental France and the world at large.As a result, Arena makes arguably the greatest wines of Corsica. His vineyards are dramatic, with rocky terrain and fast-rising slopes rising from the fertile island. Some of the land was once olive groves, while others were long-lost vineyards which had lain unused and unseen because of their rugged and remote situation. As operations grew, Arena blasted out rocky plots and planted new vines to supplement their 60-year-old plantings.
Working almost exclusively with Niellucciu and Vermentinu, Arena harvest by hand and vinifies only in stainless steel tanks. Native yeast fermentations have nothing added or taken away, save for small amounts of sulfur. The reds see 6-9 week long macerations, with an even longer elevage in concrete tanks. Arena could certainly be considered a natural winemaker, eschewing chemicals and farming bidynamically, though his wines are by no means funky and he chooses not to draw superficial attention to it. Instead, he farms and makes wines the way he feels they ought to be made to best present the incredible terroirs he works with.
With such depth, these wines are quite hard to describe. Thankfully, they’re really easy to drink. We’re proud to offer an array of his wines. Visit our web store to view the full lineup!