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Underwater Winery new trend?

Published: June 7, 2023 - 08:22
Updated: July 23, 2023 - 02:19
Underwater Winery new trend?

In 1916, a Swedish schooner named Jönköping was sunk by a German U-boat, taking with it champagne bottles.

Resting below 60m on the seabed in the Baltic Sea, the schooner was discovered by a group of divers. It contained over a thousand Heidsieck champagne bottles from 1907, with each bottle worth €30,000.

beer bottles on Bodekul wreck
Beer bottles – Bodekul wreck Sweaden. | photo: Marcin Pawelczyk

The presence of the schooner and its champagne sparked the idea to age wine under the sea. The Baltic Sea, a large body of brackish water continuously fed by surrounding rivers and adjacent oceans, offers the most suitable conditions for preserving artifacts due to its cold-watered temperatures and low salinity. During the warmer seasons, eutrophication dominates, blocking sunlight from penetrating deeper into the sea creating a dark and hypoxic environment.

Aging wine in these deep-sea conditions has opened doors for experimentation with the tastes and colors of wine. Several wineries joined this trend in 2015, engaging in the practice of submerging their products. Veuve Clicquot submerged champagne in the Baltic, Gaia Winery submerged in the Mediterranean, Bordeaux’s Larrivet Haut-Brion aged a barrel (not just bottles) on the seabed, and Crusoe Treasure, based in Spain, aged bottles in the Baltic Sea.

To this day, experiments are still ongoing to determine the benefits of underwater wine aging, and various opinions have been raised. Patricia Ortiz from Argentina compared young wine from a barrel aged underwater in the Atlantic with wine from a normal land cellar. She noted a remarkable difference in taste and texture, with the underwater-aged wine appearing to provide a fruitier taste with a smoother finish. Leclerc Briant Champagne from the Abyss underwater winery project agrees with Patricia Ortiz, acknowledging the difference in texture. However, he notes that underwater aging is still in the cradle stages but represents a step toward a new approach to winemaking.

underwater winery
The Aland Vault cellar in the sea | © Veuve Clicquot

Crusoe Treasure from Spain was expected to provide progressive results in the winemaking industry. The project involved a series of scientific analysis to gain a better understanding of what happens to wine underwater. Initially, Project Crusoe noted the sustained intensity of the wine’s colour over time, without fading. The aroma consisted of a fresh, fruity, and floral scent. Technically, the conditions within a cellar control the outcome of wine, and certain cellars can achieve similar results by managing temperatures, lighting, and room pressure.

In conclusion, the concept of submarine wine has brought forth an emergence of innovative and intriguing trends in the winemaking industry. Through experiments conducted in the Baltic Sea and other underwater locations, wineries have explored the unique conditions that offer potential benefits to the tastes, texture, and color of the wine. while still in the early stages, these experiments have sparked new methodologies and ideas, pushing the boundaries of traditional winemaking and captivating wine lovers with the allure of underwater-aged wines. The underwater winery phenomenon continues to evolve, promising exciting possibilities for the future of the industry.

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About author

Marcin Pawełczyk
Marcin’s journey with diving has been an adventure. Starting as a recreational diver, he soon found himself drawn to the fascinating stories and mysteries of Baltic wrecks. After gaining experience, Marcin decided to go beyond just leisurely exploration and took his training up a notch by completing the TMX course, allowing him to explore even deeper and uncover the secrets of inaccessible places. His next challenge has been cave diving, where he is honing his skills to become a certified diver. Not content to simply take in the breathtaking beauty of underwater life, Marcin has also embraced underwater photography since 2018, capturing stunning shots that bring these worlds alive for those who are unable to experience them first-hand. Marcin’s passion for the underwater has taken him far and is sure to continue doing so as he dives into new depths and captures breathtaking images.
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