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There are many reasons visitors love Croatia, but two things almost always top the list: the glorious sea, and the excellent local wine. So, it makes sense that the country’s latest venture is a clever combination of the two in the form of an underwater winery, now open for visitors.
The Edivo Vina winery is the first of its kind in the country. Located off the shores of Drace, a town north of Dubrovnik, it’s pretty much exactly as it sounds—a wine cellar under the sea. Guests will be able to dive down and explore before perusing the nearby remains of a sunken boat, which sits at the bottom of the Mali Ston Bay.
It all sounds pretty quirky, and you’re probably wondering, “why?” According to the owners, “The sea provides natural cooling in ideal conditions, and the perfect silence underwater improves the quality.”
Before the wine is sent sinking, it spends about three months ageing above-ground. It’s then poured into clay jugs called amphorae and stored underwater where it will stay for up to two years, mingling with the sea life, until it’s finally bottled and served.
The owners are keen to quash any fears about contamination. Though the sea is an unconventional spot for a winery, each jug is coated in two layers of rubber to prevent leaks. They’re then chained up and locked, just in case any opportunist divers happen to swim by.
Although it might be one of Europe’s smallest nations, Croats know their stuff when it comes to wine. Since the Romans set up camp many millennia ago, the Croats have maintained a tradition of making world-famous reds and whites. As news of this underwater winery flares up in international travel media, the Edivo Vina owners are hopeful it will become a key player in Croatia’s burgeoning gastronomy scene.