Restaurant Alain Llorca St. Paul de Vence, Cote’ d’Azure, FranceSeptember 16, 2019
Corsica from Porto to Ajaccio 9 18 2019.September 20, 2019
Hello from the beautiful Island of Corsica, France. Located about 200 miles south of Nice, France Corsica is an island of mountains, vineyards, and gorgeous countryside with a mild Mediterranean climate. My ferry ride from Nice to Bastia, Corsica was a smooth 4.5 hours. We arrived in Bastia at about 8:30 pm so after getting our car off of the ferry I went straight to my hotel, just a two-minute ride from the ferry dock. My stay at the very nice Hotel d’Alivi was uneventful, just as one hopes and in the morning I was delighted to find the Mediterranean Sea just outside my window. After a walk around central Bastia with a statue of Napoleon Buonaparte as the mythological God Jupiter we headed off to a wine tasting tour on the way from Bastia to our lunch spot in the town of St. Florent. The views of the mountains and the sea along the way were spectacular.
The wine tasting in the Domaine Patrimonio was at the Domaine Orenga de Gaffory, as relatively new winery dating from 1977 and using only biodynamic grape-growing and wine-making techniques. The primary grapes are Vermentino for the white wine and a relative of Nebiollo called Niellucciu for the red wines. They also grow Muscat petits grains and Le Minustelu and L’Ateatico to produce sweet wines. Since I had toured many wineries this tour was not really special although in the middle of the grape harvest we could see the staff sorting the newly picked grapes. The wines were good, not fantastic but good. I bought a bottle of white and a bottle of red to share with my friends Patrick and Evelyne when I have lunch with them at their home at the end of my trip to France.
From the winery, we drove through amazing geological strata in the mountains and with the blue sea in the background to the town of St. Florent where we had lunch at Le Petit Caporal Restaurant. The “petit Caporal” or little corporal refers by the way, to Napoleon who rose from being the little corporal to Emperor of most of Europe before his downfall. St. Florent is a lovely town with a pretty pleasure-boat harbor and interesting Citadelle facing the sea to repel invaders. I am afraid that I ate too much and drank too much at the restaurant so that the ensuing drive from Se. Florent to Calvi and from Calvi to our overnight in Porto was marked by nausea and dizziness which made the trip over winding, twisting, up and down mountains and canyons for several hours, rather unpleasant to say the least.
Happily, I am feeling much better this morning but I did not feel up to a four-hour boat trip originally planned for this morning so we will continue today to our lunch stop in Piana and then on to Ajaccio the birthplace of Napoleon and site of his ancestral home now made into a museum which I will tour tomorrow. Stay tuned!