There’s no denying it: wine is awesome. Popping a bottle of bubbles is a must at celebrations, a glug of red wine is almost medicinal, and the sound of clinking glasses at the end of hard week is like music to our ears.
So how can you improve on perfection? By travelling to sun-soaked Croatia, diving into the sea to visit the country’s very first underwater winery, and sampling wines that have been aged below sea level for two years.
Yeah, we thought you might like that.
Let us introduce the winery in question, Edivo vina, located in Drače on the Pelješac Peninsula of Croatia.
Vinho embaixo do mar. Sim. A vinícola Edivo, localizada em Drace, pertinho de Dubrovnik, ficou conhecida pelo processo inusitado na produção de seus vinhos. As garrafas são guardadas em ânforas a 20 metros abaixo do oceano e retiradas apenas dois anos depois. O resultado são garrafas lindíssimas - repletas de elementos naturais do mar - e uma bebida especial. Segundo eles, a escuridão, a temperatura sempre igual e o silêncio são fatores fundamentais na maturação do vinho. #croacia #day86 #voltaomundo #idaevolta
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Visitors of the beach-fronted establishment are invited to dive with staff to the below-sea-level winery, where they can swim past an old sunken boat in true Ariel style and view the wine making process in full.
And, considering it takes place under the sea, the win making process is actually pretty incredible to see up close: it begins on solid ground, where the vino is aged for three months, before the tipple is packed away into narrow necked clay jugs (called amphorae) and plonked under the sea for up to two years.
According to the Lonely Planet, this technique doesn’t just create an irresistible novelty, but also contributes to the quality of the wine.
Apparently storing wine in the Adriatic sea gives the alcohol a specific pinewood aroma, while the natural cooling and underwater silence improves the condition.
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To ensure that the wine stays protected from salt water each bottle is corked and layered in rubber. They are then carefully stored in the previously mentioned sunken boat, which acts as the most magical cellar we’ve ever heard of, keeping things at a temperature of 15 to 17 degrees.
And, if you thought that the situation couldn’t get any more The Little Mermaid-esque, you should see the bottles once they’ve been hauled onto dry land: they emerge covered in pretty sea flora and fauna, including corals and shells.
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There’s no doubt that guests splashing around Mali Ston Bay are privilege to some beautiful sights, but if you were thinking of pulling a fast one we should warn you that all bottles ageing underwater are locked within metal cages to keep them out of the hands of mischievous divers.
Images: Edivo vina