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Napa Winery successfully experiments Wine Aging under Sea

Posted: Thursday, 30 May 2013 11:59

Napa Winery successfully experiments Wine Aging under Sea

May 30: Indian wine producers may be behind in the use of latest technology but they might start thinking about experimenting with aging wine in the sea salt water in the Indian Ocean near Mumbai when they learn that a Napa Valley winery achieved stunning results recently in taste and cost of wine when stored in the sea for three months and that this style of aging might revolutionize the wine industry

Mira Winery made history this year as the first American winery to experiment with aging wine in the ocean, when divers placed four cases of 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon in February 2013 in specially designed steel cages in the Charleston Harbor at a depth of 60 feet. The results have been stunning, according to a report by the Fox News.

The goal of this experiment was to compare the results of maturing wines in the ocean with that of wines aged in the cellar. The major elements that can affect aging are temperature, humidity, pressure, motion, light and oxygen. “Wine making is an art and a complicated science,” reportedly says the winemaker adding, “With several factors that impact wine production, aging is traditionally done in a very controlled environment to ensure optimum outcome. With our experiment, we’re testing the impact of unpredictable tides, waves and temperature on the taste of wine.”

The wine was pulled out from the Harbour on May 21 and the experts tasted the wine to see if their experiment yielded positive results. The conclusion was that it was extraordinary. They said what had happened to the wine aged under the sea was like magic. “I think it’s a whole other element for adding diversity to the flavours that already exist within wine,” said the winemaker Gustavo Gonzalez.

Plans are already in motion to start Phase II of this experiment, dropping twice as many cases into the Harbor for twice as long. The wine will also be stored under the ocean in the initial stages of storage after the fermentation is complete. Thus the experiment will begin in September-October. “We’re continuing to control our sample and we will continue to get a better understanding of the impact of aging the wine in the ocean,” Mira Winery President, Jim Dyke, reportedly told

The sea-aged wine has already sold-for up to $1000 and will be delivered to the buyers after it undergoes chemical analysis, says Jim Dyke Jr, a resident of Charleston who owns Mira Winery. Gonzalez says he's hopeful that the average wine drinker, not just the connoisseur, will be able to tell the difference in ocean-aged wine. 'I'm hoping that anyone will be able to tell the difference because my feeling is that the aging  process will be a little slower offshore. The differences, hopefully, are a little more obvious than an expert would require,' he added.

Interestingly, Europe has already been experimenting with sea-aging of wines with encouraging results. Winemakers have long known that wine recovered from sunken ships has a unique taste. The ocean is considered to have something to do with it.


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