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The Underwater Winery of Croatia

An underwater winery in Croatia gives a whole new meaning to the term “dive bar.”

Many of us have dived in strange environments, from the Antarctic to deep caves. Diving for wine, though, is not commonly associated with diving — unless you count going to a dive bar after you emerge from the water. Yet, there’s an underwater winery in Croatia just waiting for discovery. The Edivo Winery lies in the azure waters of the Adriatic Sea, and it’s undoubtedly one of the unusual wine merchants on the planet.

While unusual, the underwater world seems to be an ideal location to age wine. And years of trial here have resulted in success. A constant depth of 60 to 82 feet (18 to 25 m), combined with the lack of oxygen, steady temperature, light and tranquillity allow the wine to mature to perfection. The grapes, called Plavac Mali, are crushed and made into wine that is aged for three months on land. Then they’re submerged, thus becoming the company’s ‘Navis Mysterium’ line, which translates to ‘The Sea Mystery.’ Due to the pressure at 60 feet, normal corks are inadequate, so winemakers have crafted a special two-layer wax seal for the wines. Each of the .75L glass bottles is first encased in a clay amphora, then protected with the special cork and seal.

Diving to the winery

During each bottle’s 18- to 24-month time underwater, prospective buyers can dive the underwater winery, conducting an undersea tour and choosing their own wine. There’s a nearby shipwreck as well, which adds to the dive’s interest. Beginning on April 15 of each year and concluding at the beginning of November, the local diving club takes both Discover Scuba Diving students and certified divers to see the sunken wine bottles. The tours occur twice a day and last just over an hour. Instructors and divemasters can take groups of up to 12 certified divers at a time to depths of 60 feet (18 m), where you’ll see the wine stored in a sunken boat.

It’s not only the wine itself that’s eclectic, but also the bottle, which emerges from the Adriatic Sea beautifully encrusted in coral, barnacles, shells and other ocean life. People can purchase the wine either in a bottle or amphora from the winery. While both are popular, they differ in price, with the latter reaching up to $400 USD.

Edivo Winery is not the only place in the world to submerge its wine. In fact, a number of countries have followed the practice. Greece, Italy, California, Spain and France all feature wineries that have submerged their bottles for various periods of time, though you can only see the wine underwater in Croatia.  

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