The Agriates, a land full of history.“The products of the Agriata region are extremely savorous; the wheat, the meat and even the fish are more exquisite than anywhere else in Corsica”. This is what Agostino Giustinianni, bishop of Corsica, said about the Agriates in 1514. The Agriates desert is one of the most beautiful regions of the island, with its 40 kilometers of deserted coastline and its mountainous chain called “Serra di a Tenda”. The region has the sumptuous Ostriconi valley on its west side and the Saint-Florent Gulf and the Nebbiu flatland on its east side. There has been human activity going on ever since the Neolithic era. The region used to be surnamed “the Corsican attic”, thanks to the fertile land where citrus fruits, olive and fig trees were being cultivated.
But near the end of the XIX-th century, forest fires ravaged the area, and it was renamed “the Agriates Desert”, in spite of its richness and the biological diversity in essential oils (pines, green oaks, cistus, myrtle, arbutus and mastic trees). Even today, ruins of “ pagliaghji” (former shepherd shelters) are to be seen all over the region; the landscape is filled with symbols of the dense agricultural history of this exceptional land.
In the name of the Father. At the end of the 1960’s, Jo Poli, an Algerian war veteran, establishes in Teddi, at the foot of Mount Genova, the highest point of the Agriates region with its 421meters in altitude, to turn a page in his life, which had been quite tumultuous until then. He started to work long and hard to fulfill his dream for the second part of his life; to plant a vineyard right in the middle of a deserted area, abandoned by human kind for decades. After many years of great effort, he reaches his goal: 40 hectares of vineyard of his own. The chosen types of vine stocks are exclusively Corsican: Niellucciu, Vermentinu and Sciaccarellu. But unfortunately, in 1991, he brutally passes away, leaving behind his only daughter Marie-Brigitte, who had already lost her mother in 1989.
Today, Marie-Brigitte is the owner of the vineyard.
At the age of 17, an adolescent still, she faces a heavy dilemma: she could either sell the land her father worked on for so many years, or she could carry out his dream. As she is a woman with a strong sense of duty and with enough willpower to perpetuate her father’s dream, she decides to continue the work Jo once begun. She didn’t know the slightest thing about agriculture, let alone about running a vineyard, but she rolled up her sleeves and decided to pursue the adventure.
It will take a couple of years before she finally gets the hang of it; she restores the vines, professionalizes production and improves the wine quality. A genuine challenge…
From Corsica to New York. After 22 years of relentless work, Clos Teddi has imposed itself as a not to be overlooked reference in the Patrimoniu Appellation and among all the other Corsican vineyards. Every single year, 120.000 bottles are produced in a high-tech wine cellar, but in a traditional way. The Clos Teddi wines can be savoured in Corsica, on the European Continent, but also in the most renowned establishments in New York, Japan, Shanghai and even in Wallis & Futuna (a small French island in the South Pacific). Marie-Brigitte’s career, patience and determination was recently rewarded with international acknowledgment.
She has also succeeded to pass the love for her region and her ancient craft on to her children and the change of the guard will be assured in future years.
Her family’s story will continue, as the profound love for this exceptional region has overtaken her son and her daughter as well.
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