The approximately 8,700 km² island (French: Corse) lies 160 kilometres southeast of the coast of France. In the 6th century BC, Corsica was settled by the Phoenicians, who called it Corai (covered with forest). In the middle of the 3rd century BC, the island came under Roman rule. Around 1,000 AD, Pisa gained supremacy and reactivated viticulture, which had fallen into disrepair due to the fall of the Roman Empire. Then, from the end of the 13th century, Genoa took over. 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 Napoleon (1769-1821) was born in Ajaccio a year later. 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 about 20,000 hectares of vineyards and three quarters of the population lived from winegrowing. A total decline occurred due to phylloxera.
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