Some people dive with sharks. We prefer to dive with wine bottles. Wine lovers unite, this European dream is giving us all of the validation we need to understand how cultured and damned cool AF drinking wine can be.
The big idea
The first underwater winery in Croatia recently opened in Drače, a small place on the Pelješac Peninsula. The city itself is super small but equally gorgeous. If you weren’t planning on stopping through the Croatian coast on your next European adventure, seriously consider it. It’s got coasts for days. The winery from sea life heaven is also only about an hour away from Dubrovnik.
Yeah, an underwater winery is exactly how it sounds. The wine is made and then stored underwater. After three months of ageing, the wines are decanted into clay jugs, known as amphorae, and stashed under the sea for a couple of years.
The winery is owned by Ivo and Anto Šegović and Edi Bajurin. The whole idea was first discussed 12 years ago when a bottle with remains of ancient amphorae was given to the brothers. Then, the first amphorae were dropped under water in 2013. Now the winery is open for visitors (somebody loves us).
Amphorae gives the wine a very specific pinewood aroma. The unique (yet ideal) conditions for cooling the wine offer perfect underwater silence, improving the overall quality of the wine. The bottles are protected internally by a cork and two layers of rubber, and they are arranged in cages secured with padlocks to prevent theft. Sorry everyone.
The amphorae are covered in sea flora and fauna, including corals and shells, turning the wine bottles into the perfect gift.
Ivo, Anto and Edi also have wine bottles that are ‘aged’ in the Adriatic sea. A sunken boat is used as an underwater cellar and keeps the amphorae for 700 days at a temperature of 15-17 degrees.
Wine friends — let’s raise a glass to all the wine genii on the planet. And match order some fish to compliment.