Eric Poli and his brother, Antoine, direct Domaine de Piana, the family’s 75-acre estate between Linguizzetta and Bravone on Corsica’s east coast. In 2005, Eric purchased 7.4 acres (3 hectares) of old-vine Niellucio and Vermentino (aka Malvoisie de Corse) on the terraced Poggio d’Oletta in the heart of Patrimonio, the oldest and arguably best appellation on this mountainous Mediterranean island.
Eric made his first vintage of Clos Alivu (’05) in the cellar of his good friend and Oletta neighbor, Yves Leccia, another Patrimonio vigneron who is regarded as a leader in Corsica’s recent crusade for higher quality. Eric is also married to a respected Patrimonio producer, Marie-Brigitte Julliard-Poli of Clos Teddi, whose rose gives Alivu’s a serious run for the money.
Protected by the maritime influences of the Golfe de Saint-Florent, vines cultivated on the Petra Bianca soils of Patrimonio’s hillsides rarely require treatments of any kind, so Eric’s practices are essentially organic (though without certification). Niellucio, believed to be related to Sangiovese, thrives in this ideally situated inlet at the north end of the island, and when yields are limited, results in wines with more freshness and finesse than those made from its Tuscan cousin. This freshness is readily apparent in the Clos Alivu Rose, one of the finest Corsica has to offer.