Croatia has crept its way up to the top of people's travel bucket lists, and for good reason: It's got some gorgeous coastlines and delicious food. Now, wine-lovers have a new reason to visit the nation: the Balkan country, which drinks the most wine in the world, is home to an underwater winery.
Tucked away on the Pelješac peninsula in the town of Drače is a winery, owned by Ivo and Anto Šegović and Edi Bajurin, called Edivo Vina. The wine is aged above the sea for three months before making its way into the waters of the Adriatic sea.
It is placed in an amphorae — a clay jug with a narrow neck — and aged underwater at a temperature of 15 to 17 degrees for a year or two. The amphorae are placed in locked cages, 59 to 82 feet in the sea, to prevent divers from grabbing a bottle and swimming off. Once retrieved from the waters, the vessels are covered with sea flora and fauna like shells and corals.
The one drawback of below-sea-level wine aging is it makes leakage more likely. To ensure saltwater doesn't ruin the wine, the owners have added two layers of rubber around each bottle in addition to the traditional cork.
This technique, reports Lonely Planet, results in a product featuring a pinewood aroma. Edivo Vina's owners, opted to age their wine underwater because "the sea provides natural cooling in ideal conditions and the perfect silence underwater improves the quality."
To access the winery, visitors have to dive into the waters with a staff member. The swim to the winery includes a peek at how the wine is made and views of a boat at the bottom of the Mali Ston Bay. Less adventurous folks can still enjoy the wine shop located above ground.