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Sea cellars: underwater wine

Vino Sommerso con sommozzatori - EFW
Written by EFW Staff

Underwater wine, a treasure hidden in the abyss

Origins of this aging method

Recently a terracotta amphora has been discovered in Sicily, it was 900 years old and inside it there were three liters and a half or norman red wine. This amphora was perfectly preserved and sealed with a pece of sugar, it was opened in San Vito lo Capo and its content was divided and delivered to some oenological laboratories all over the world. No one has been so brave to taste it, but it turn on the interest of the people.

The same happened for the 168 bicentenary bottles (among them 47 bottles of Champagne Verve Cliquot Ponsardin) discovered in 2010 in the bottom of the Baltic sea, 55 meters deep, off the Finnish island of Aaland. In this case, the precious liquid have been tasted and the experts said that it had an intense perfume with notes of grape, mead, white fruits, tobacco and durmast. Thanks to this finding, in the mind of the wine makers have been shaped the real idea to place some bottles underwater to bring them back to the surface after few years and evaluate their taste.

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The Italian forefathers of the “underwater sparkling making process”

There are some entrepreneurs that chose to experiment this technique. Among them worth mentioning are the wine makers of Abissi – Riserva Marina di Portofino, the one of Tenuta del Paguro, and of the Nautilus CruStorico of the winery Vallecamonica.

The first one has been the winery Bisson di Chiavari. In the 22nd May 2009 the owner, Piero Lugano, decided to immerse 11 cages with 6.500 bottles in the unpolluted bay of Cala degli Inglesi, 60 meters deep. The experiment perfectly succeeded. Since 2010, Gianluca Grilli and Raffaele Ravaglia, two owner of Ravenna, used the disused Agip platform as a winery for their wines coming from Romagna.

“Sea cellar” to preserve wine abroad in the best way

Vino Sommerso Lanzarote

Another similar experiment have been carried out in France, where Bruno Lemoine, director of the famous Château Larrivet Haut-Brion place some bottles in the bottom of the Atlantic ocean, in the bay of Arcachon. After six months, the bottle has been opened and he tasted the wine together with the one of another barrel with the same wine. The winner wine was preserved under water.
Another try, with good result, was carried out by Raul Perez Sketch, in Spain, Louis Rogederer in the Bay of Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy, Henri Maire in a old abbey submerged in the Lake Vouglans, Gaia Winery on the island of Exo Gonia, in Santorini, Grecia and Mira Winery with its red wines Napa Charleston Harbor, in South Carolina, United States.

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EFW Staff