The world’s first underwater winery ...
We all love to travel and if you’re a lover of fine wine then trailing around France’s numerous vineyards or saltering through the Napa Valley in California would seem like the perfect holiday choice but what about donning a wet-suit and diving under the ocean to visit a winery?
Sounds bizarre, well that’s exactly what one would have to do if they wanted to visit the Edivo winery, the first underwater winery situated in Croatia.
Owned by brothers Ivo and Anto Šegović and Edi Bajurin, Navis Mysterium or 'Sea Mystery' wine isn’t just a nostalgic fly-by-night enterprise it’s actually very practical.
Obviously the wine making process begins above ground in a small village between Ston and Orebić, in the middle of the Pelješac peninsula, here the regional grape variety is Plavac Mali and once grown, harvested and pressed the wine is bottled and stored on land for three months before the bizarre underwater process begins.
The wine is transferred into specially made glass bottles that are then placed inside a clay amphorae jug which have narrow necks and two handles like the ones used in ancient Greece. Insides these jugs they are coated with a thin layer of resin whilst on the outside they are protected by cork and two layers of rubber. The wine is then left to rest for 700 days placed inside special cages which are locked to protect from curious divers and treasure hunters. Nowhere it seems is safe!
Ageing wines under water doesn’t initially sound like a natural process but at 20 meters below the surface the sea temperature is stable and there is minimal light and silence which means it is the perfect environment for ageing wine, plus the wine takes on a distinct pinewood aroma which otherwise could not be achieved above ground.
As you can imagine after sitting in the ocean for 2 years the bottles once brought to the surface look like pieces of sunken treasure covered in corals, seashells and algae and in fact look like pieces of art and no two are the same.
Priced from €77.00 for a bottle of Navis Mysterium to €336.00 for a Navis Mysterium Amphora these bottles would make for an enchanting gift and for the more adventurous as previously mentioned you can don a wetsuit and visit the "underwater cellars" - including bottles stored in a sunken ship at the bottom of the Mali Ston Bay.
Named by CNN Traveller as one of "the most unusual wineries in the world," this is one wine tour for those who fancy something a little different.