Photos Courtesy of Mira WineryTaking a sip of genuinely exquisite wine is one of the true luxuries in life; however if you ever take a trip to the picturesque Napa Valley, you’ll realize that the wine country is quite literally littered with wineries — over 450 to be exact. With so many options, determining and discovering quality wine is tough, especially for a novice.
Mira Winery is certainly setting the bar high when it comes to this over-crowded industry, by working with an experimental process that involves aging wine, not in a cellar, but rather on the ocean floor. Starting February 20, Mira Winery will submerge their best bottles in the Charleston Harbor and leave them there for three months.
“We will make an initial drop to test a process which we plan to expand on in both quantity and time going forward,” said Mira Winery President Jim Dyke. “Making history in Charleston Harbor is not new, but certainly a first for a Napa Valley Winery.”
What may seem to be result of one too many from the people at Mira is far from it, as this test has actually been done before. Several European wineries have experimented with storing wine in the ocean, although according to Mira, this trial will be the first in the United States.
The reasoning behind underwater aging comes from generations past when explorers would recover wine from sunken ships and boldly claim the spirits had remarkable taste, and were actually enhanced by the underwater elements.
“The ocean has similar ideal elements that impact aging – temperature, pressure, humidity, pressure motion, light — or lack thereof — and oxygen,” explained Gustavo Gonzalez, Mira Winery Winemaker. “Is there something just as impactful and interesting in aquaoir as there is about terroir? We are going to try and find out.”
Once the three months are finished, sommeliers will conduct a taste test of the wine stored in the ocean compared to the same vintage that was stored above ground. Regardless of the outcome, this is certainly an intriguing experiment — assuming no thirsty sea creatures get involved.