Otta as the power of marriages of flavors imagined in the foundations of a 16th century family home. This brand, a pure Cap Corsin product, is the name of the rhum’arrangerie project undertaken three years ago by two women. The result can be tasted in six ranges
For three years, in the cellars of an old square tower, established since the XVIand century, in a small hamlet cap corsinthe project to create a rum arrangement artisanal took time to mature. To gain in flavor and power. For about ten days, the first otta bottles, the full-bodied arrangements are ready to take the palate on a journey.
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And it all starts at the end of this path which leads to the hamlet of Torra in Barrettali. Behind the heavy wooden door, guarded by a laden orange tree, the scent of vanilla, fruit and rum are already blending together. The old bottles with yellowed labels placed near an antique bottle mouth on a stand give the place an atmosphere of another time. Laurence Mattei and Sandra Gostoli are the guardians.
Full-bodied notes combined with exotic flavors
After running a grocery store in Canari, they dared to revive the taste of memories. “My father was a long-distance captain and he always brought back rums and sugar cane from his journeys”. Like a perfume, which she has kept in her olfactory memory since childhood, Laurence Mattei has associated it with a moment of happiness. The return one. And that can be felt in the extra soul that she brings to the commercial project. In these refurbished and fully equipped foundations, she combines both her passion for gastronomy and mixology, and her love for her native lands. For this professional trained in catering at Fred Scamaroni and who worked as room manager at the Carlton, the Martinez, the Hilton and other prestigious establishments on the Côte d’Azur, staying in Corsica was a heartfelt choice.
Creating your arranged rum has become that of reason. “We embarked on the adventure. We believe in it”, confides the associate director. The turn negotiated since the 2000s seems to prove him right. Arranged rums have become more popular at national level with an annual increase in sales of between 30% and 40% per year. In Corsica, various market studies suggest that arranged rum has also made a breakthrough.“There is real potential.”
At his side, Sandra Gostoli cultivates the same desire to undertake. For this former franchise director, nothing should be left to chance. From the taste quality of the fruit to the correct maceration time. Everything is calculated, annotated. “We carried out around a hundred tests to be certain of our product. This also explains why it took us three years between the creation of the company and the marketing of the first bottles.“
The originality of the Otta brand – suffix which expresses the idea of strength combined with benevolence – is to have wanted to make locals and tourists travel by building bridges from one island to another. The result can be tasted, between 27° and 34°, in mythical rum flavors – vanilla, citron-ginger, vanilla-hazelnut, mandarin sweet spices or pineapple Tonca beans.
To find the right rum, balanced in flavors, the one that would allow the fruity notes to come out, they flew to Martinique in search of a premium agricultural rum. For the citron, head for the Eastern Plain. “ The myrtle is picked by us. And we work with water from the nearby Mattei spring”they confide, pointing to the fountain below the family home.
Six varieties of arranged rum and a prize awarded
Wanting to add exotic fruits is an assumed choice. “And it works well”, rejoice the two entrepreneurs who have already seduced island connoisseurs but also beyond the sea. They also received the prize for the best female project 2022 as part of the CAPI program. And here they are even on board for a European master class with the CCI.
“We are very satisfied but also grateful because people like Didier or Daniel gave valuable advice throughout our installation. We were really supported.”
Sapproaching the barrel, Laurence lifts and turns over the bottle of rum arranged with roasted hazelnut vanilla. “One of the favorites.” The dress is clear. The weight of the fruit seems accurate. And when the liquid is poured, its color as its perfume can be appreciated. “We have several manufacturing steps depending on the seasonal fruit worked. Both the maceration and the filtration process change, but we can’t say too much about it. It’s secret.”
Approaching one of the vats which she lifts then stirs, new notes escape. “He’s not ready yet. We still have to wait”slips Sandra, resting the wooden stirrer where the palmentu used to work.
After the jams and these six ranges of arranged rum, the Otta brand, which lives alongside Rhum’a, will be available with a range of planters. “But we also have the ambition to create a winery.” In the meantime, 5,000 bottles will make their way onto the market. In the hamlet of Torra, in Barrettali, the story of the “first arranged whiskey on the island” has every intention of being shared and aging well.