In 2005, Eric Poli sold his interest in the family’s 75-acre Vin de Corse estate, Domaine de Piana, to his brother, Antoine. With the proceeds, he bought 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. An important factor in Eric’s decision was the fact that his wife, Marie-Brigitte, is the Owner/Director of Clos Teddi, the Patrimonio domaine founded by her father in 1970.
Eric expanded Clos Alivu’s modest holdings with the purchase of 4.3 acres of vines in the commune of Santo Pietro di Tenda in 2012. Today, he manages Clos Alivu’s 11.7 acres of vines and the 86.5 acres of Clos Teddi. Eric has also assumed responsibility for the winemaking of both domaines, while Marie-Brigitte handles commercial affairs for the two companies. The brands are marketed separately outside of Corsica, but at home the Polis share a popular retail tasting room in the heart of the picturesque harbor village of Saint-Florent where they showcase the wines of both Patrimonio domaines. The boutique also features a full range of IGP Île de Beauté wines made from the 108 acres of vines Eric planted in 2007 near his hometown of Linguizzetta on the east coast of the island.
Protected by the maritime influences of the Golfe de Saint-Florent, vines cultivated on the limestone soils of Patrimonio’s hillsides rarely require treatments of any kind, so Eric’s practices are essentially organic (though without certification). Niellucio, genetically linked 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.