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Diving With a Difference: Visit an Underwater Winery in Croatia

AFP Relaxnews

Updated: April 19, 2017, 9:34 AM IST
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Diving With a Difference: Visit an Underwater Winery in Croatia
Clay amphorae containing bottles of Navis Mysterium wine are submerged in the Adriatic Sea. (Photo courtesy: AFP Relaxnews/ Edivo/Navis Mysterium)

If a visit to an ordinary vineyard isn't exciting enough for you, take a trip to Croatia's Peljesac peninsula, where you can dive into the Adriatic to find wine stored in a shipwreck.

From May onwards, Edivo Wine will be offering diving trips to its underwater cellar where wine created for the Navis Mysterium brand is aged. The vineyard is located at Drace, on the Peljesac peninsula, about an hour's drive from Dubrovnik. Edivo makes its wine from plavac mali, a Croatian red grape, which is used in the well-known wines from Peljesac and from the very chic island of Hvar.

The owners of Edivo Wine were inspired by the practice in Ancient Greece of storing wine under the sea in amphorae (clay jars with two handles).

They pour the young wine into a traditional glass bottle, which is in turn placed in an amphora. After a three-month period on terra firma, the amphorae are plunged into the darkness of the Adriatic Sea at a depth of 18-25 meters for one to two years.

Anyone taking the diving trip will be able to see the amphorae stored in the wreck of an old ship. The visit will continue above water with a tasting session. The wine can also be purchased as a souvenir, and a wine bar is set to open on April 21.

The benefits of the sea

The French are also familiar with the idea of aging wine in the sea. In 2007, Emmanuel Poirmeur, the maker of Egiategia wine, on the Basque coast, filed a patent for the vinification and aging of wines underwater. He now ages his wine at a depth of 15 meters in the Atlantic, in Saint-Jean-de-Luz Bay. Sea conditions enhance the fermentation process, resulting in a more aromatic wine.

And in 2010, a group of divers found a 170-year-old cargo of champagne at the bottom of the Baltic Sea. Experts said that it was still very drinkable, proving that the sea is an ideal place to age wine as it provides both darkness and a constant temperature.

First Published: April 19, 2017, 9:34 AM IST
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