Now You Can Enjoy Wine Matured in the Sea
It’s not the first location you think of when choosing a wine, but Croatia has had a decent reputation for quality over the years. The country has been making wine dating way back to the time of the Greeks, with the majority of production being given over to white wines.
There are some 300 different regions across the country and wine is certainly a popular drink for the locals. Many of the production methods have been modernised since Croatia joined the EU in 2013. Because it’s a Mediterranean country, there’s always been plenty of scope for wine production and the coast is particularly interesting when it comes to wine, attracting tourists from all over the world.
If you’re looking for something out of the ordinary, however, there’s one place in Croatia that is doing some pretty interesting things when it comes to wine – and we’ve just signed them up as a supplier. Head to the Pelješac Peninsula and you’ll come across a vineyard producing wine that is placed in terracotta amphora (clay jars) and then put in the sea to mature. The company grows their grapes on the sunny banks of the coast and makes their wine at nearby Drace. The vineyards cover some 1,000 square metres and include 14,000 different plantations.
Once the wine is made, it’s transferred to clay pots, corked and wrapped in protective rubber before being taken out to sea. There, an underground shipwreck is used as a cellar, helping to keep the wine at a constant temperature of 60°F (15°C) for about 700 days. Divers pop down to the cellar almost every day to ensure the integrity of the bottles and bring up those that are ready for sale.
Owners Ivo and Anto Šegovi? and Edi Bajurin have now opened their whole operation to tourists who can come and see how the wine is made. When the amphora are finally removed from the sea, they are covered in a beautiful range of corals, shells and even oysters. The bottles are served locally with fresh seafood and look like something that has been sitting in the sea for many years.
The idea for this novel method of producing the wine came about five years ago when the owners, both avid divers, began to wonder whether the constant temperature and calm conditions would be the ideal environment for making quality wine. The unique Navis Mysterium is quickly gaining notoriety across the world of wine enthusiasts and the company is now exporting it as far afield as Hong Kong and the USA. It may be the packaging that has attracted most attention but this is also a good quality wine that manages to stand on its own, even without the fantastic looking bottles.