Go to any winemaking country in the world, and a wine tour follows a pretty standard formula. You take a trip through the land on a train, or by car, stopping at popular vineyards to sample some wine, perhaps some food, and repeat. The experience and the wines will prove breathtaking, but the journey itself can be pretty predictable.
In Croatia, on the Pelješac peninsula, there’s a winery unlike any other. Croatia is a rather offbeat travel destination, for starters, but make your way out to the Edivo Vina winery, and you’ve scored yourself a wine-filled day that’s on the right side of unusual.
Edivo Vina is Croatia’s first underwater winery. Wine is stored under the sea, and patrons are invited to dive for their wine before enjoying it.
Wine is traditionally fermented in barrels. At Edivo Vina, the wine, called Navis Mysterium, starts in barrels for about three months. It’s then submerged below sea level for one to two years. Stored in clay jugs called amphorae, the wines are corked and protected with two layers or rubber to prevent contamination and leakage. Then, the amphoraes are locked in cages to prevent thieving.
According to the owners of Edvio Vina, ageing the wine underwater came from their belief that “the sea provides natural cooling in ideal conditions and the perfect silence underwater improves the quality.”
The wine takes on a distinct pinewood aroma with this maturation process that otherwise could not be achieved above ground. Its surface is covered with corals and seashells, making it look like a shipwrecked treasure from times past.
Those who don’t know how to dive, or don’t want to, can opt to have the bottles retrieved for them, and then enjoyed at a dinner within the winery itself. If Edivo Vina doesn’t convince you that Croatia is worth the visit, we don’t know what will.