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The approximately 8,700 km² large island (French Corse) lies 160 kilometres southeast of the French coast. In the 6th century BC, Corsica was settled by the Phoenicians, who called it Korai (covered with forest). In the middle of the 3rd century B.C. the island came under Roman rule. Around 1,000 AD, Pisa gained supremacy and reactivated viticulture, which had deteriorated due to the fall of the Roman Empire. From the end of the 13th century onwards, Genoa took over the rule. Christopher Columbus (1451-1506) was probably born in Calvi on the north-western coast. In 1572 the Genoese issued a decree that each family had to plant four vines. The island was sold to France in 1768 and one year later Napoleon (1769-1821) was born in Ajaccio. As emperor, he granted his homeland the special privilege of selling wine without paying taxes. In the middle of the 19th century, there were still some 20,000 hectares of vineyards and three quarters of the population lived from growing wine. A total decline was caused by phylloxera.

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