Dive for wine at an underwater winery in Croatia
How about going on a scuba-diving tour to a wine cellar under the sea while you are on charter on the Adriatic coast in Croatia!
Yes, that is what is says! Dive for drinks at Croatia’s first and only underwater winery, Edivo Vina! Of course, walking among grapevines, admiring stacked oak barrels, and touring wine-making facilities is a great way to learn about wine, but how about going on a scuba-diving tour to a wine cellar under the sea while you are on charter on the Adriatic coast in Croatia!
Where can you find the Croatian underwater winery?
Your adventure will begin in Drače. The small village of Drače is located on the peninsula of Pelješac, an area well known for its fine vineyards and many excellent wines. The best wines in Croatia come from the peninsula and their famous wine, Dingač, also known as the king of Croatian wines, is the first protected wine of the country.
Lined with long pebble beaches, the Pelješac peninsula is that wonderful rarity, a Dalmatian getaway without the crowds. Welcoming to windsurfers and wine lovers alike, Pelješac is also known for its oysters and mussels, arguably the best in Croatia. Once the northern outpost of the Ragusa Republic, today’s Dubrovnik, Pelješac still contains the unique historic attraction of the Walls of Ston, Europe’s longest fortification. Did you know that in all of Croatia, only the Dalmatian coast and islands have a real Mediterranean climate and the number of hours of sunshine rises to 3000 hours a year?
The Edivo Vina Winery
Your captain will anchor your yacht in the crystalline sea of the peninsula and after a hearty breakfast onboard, with all your favorite breakfast dishes cooked to perfection by your chef, your crew will make sure you will arrive safely at the winery in Drače. The Edivo Vina winery made their first wine in 2011 and decided to make it a one of a kind. They came up with the idea of immersing bottles of wine and amphorae under water to bring the flavor to the next level.
The key to drinking and diving is to make sure the diving comes first! It is an order of operations that Edivo Vina has perfected and if you want your very own hand-selected, barnacle-encrusted, underwater-aged bottle of wine, you are going to have to dive for it.
Who is the Edivo Vina Winery designer?
The unique winery is the brainchild of Edi Bajurin, who, and this may not surprise you, combined his two favorite hobbies to create one unique adventure. Bajurin’s wine, made from local grapes, is aged on land in a cask first and is then bottled in glass. Bajurin speculated that aging wines at twenty meters underwater would keep them at a more constant temperature than on land and that the silence at the bottom of the sea would give his wines a smoother taste. Years of experimenting resulted in plenty of salty wine and perhaps some intoxicated fish. However, it also taught Bajurin that ordinary corks could not keep the wine away from the sea water and vice versa. The solution turned out to be placing each glass bottle inside a clay jug that is corked and sealed off with two layers of specially prepared wax. The bottle is then left to rest in the Adriatic Sea, at a steady temperature for up to two years. As such, each bottle of Edivo Vina’s Navis Mysterium, or the Sea Mystery, emerges from its aging stint with a distinct pinewood aroma. As for the jugs, or amphorae, the time under water coats them in seashells and barnacles. Modeled after the jars that the ancient Greeks used to store their wine, each amorpha is different, as various sea creatures, algae, coral, and shells attach themselves to the sides, thus creating an unusual effect. The winery’s red wine is stored between 14 and 20 meters below the sea. White wine is stored closer to 30 meters underwater, as those grapes require colder temperatures.
How was the underwater winery formed?
The underwater winery is built around an old sunken fishing boat that had been lying on the seabed for more than 30 years. The amphorae are stored in the shipwreck, submerged in steel cages, for two years of aging, with the divers of the winery visiting the ‘’cellar’’ regularly to check if the jugs remain sea- and waterproof.
If you have your diving credentials, you can go on a supervised dive to the underwater cellar. Before jumping into the water, a special ceremonial opening of an amphorae enclosed bottle will be held on dry land, attended by you and your loved ones, whether you will be diving or not. A truly one-of-a-kind experience to enjoy wine, in a spectacular seaside setting. If diving is not for you, cozy up at the wine bar, on land, and let your friends get wet while you get a head start of the wine tasting part of your visit!
Bring some of the Edivo wine bottles home!
Each bottle resting under water is unique and is the product of love, effort and time. The grapes, the clay, the wrought iron, the pinewood, the bottles and the corks used in the making of the ‘Sea Mystery’ wine are all products of Croatia, guaranteeing you a true taste of the ancient Adriatic. Exquisite wine, like Plavac from Janjina, clay that is baked in Petrinja, crates from Sisak, pinewood boxes which are made in Varaždin, all coming together and resulting in a product so unique that you will want to bring a bottle or two home. A bottle of ‘Sea Mystery’ wine will definitely give you the best story to tell while you are drinking it with your friends! The 2013 Navis Mysterium Amorpha and the 2013 Navis Mysterium Sea Bottle each won gold medals from the 2021 America Awards, so pick up a bottle or two before you leave to go back to your yacht.
Back onboard, your chief stewardess will be waiting for your with soft towels, ready to hear all about your adventure at the underwater winery. What is next on the itinerary? Maybe you can walk among grapevines, admire stacked oak barrels, and tour one of the famous wineries of Pelješac on land!
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