Though one of the youngest vignerons within the Selection Massale family, Marie-Charlotte Pinelli is proving to be an incredibly talented, thoughtful, and hardworking force on the island of Corsica. Since beginning her domaine, she has obtained organic certification, planted 3.5 hectares of new vines (nielluciu, sciaccarellu, and vermentinu), and has begun the process of constructing an underground cellar on the steep slopes of her family estate.
Marie-Charlotte’s grandfather was a winemaker on the island, however her father decided to go into business rather than continue to work in the vines, though it was always his dream. When she had the choice to move to Paris to study architecture, she faced the same decision and, not without hesitation, ultimately decided to pack up and make the move. This would all change when her father took over a small parcel of muscat, which was planted in 2001, and she dropped everything to move back home to help him vinify their first wine in the cellar of Nicolas Mariotti Bindi, one of the masters of natural winemaking in Patrimonio. This was in 2015 when she was nineteen years old.
After an internship with Nicolas, she was ready to strike out on her own using what she had learned and applied it to the aforementioned parcel of muscat. All wines are fermented naturally, without enzymes, fining, or anything she deems as detrimental to the wine. She is also a believer in “traditional work”, so all grapes are harvested by hand and are pressed in a small vertical basket press. Muscat is raised entirely in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks and the reds will be raised in old foudre.
She believes, as her father and grandfather taught her, that great wine is made in the vineyard, so it seemed obvious to her to obtain her AB organic certification. This is not to mention that Corsica is almost heaven for growing grapes. Her muscat vines are planted on limestone, yet her new vineyard is higher in elevation on granite, an interesting difference within Patrimonio.
For now, she is focused on making what is essentially the best muscat we have had the pleasure of tasting and renting a couple parcels of niellucciu until her vines for making red, white, and rosé wines have matured enough to harvest. What is incredibly interesting, to us, is that she has no interest in fortifying her wines, which is the tradition and requirement for the Patrimonio AOP. She instead takes the Vin de France designation with absolutely no regrets.