A journey with the scent of young wine: four beautiful wineries by the sea
At the end of autumn, just a few weeks after the grape harvest, many winemakers are ready to treat with a fragrant and tart drink. Such tasting is especially atmospheric if the winery is located on the seashore – it is a real visual pleasure and a fireworks of taste sensations.
True, winemakers are not in too much of a rush to the seashore – most often the land there is not very fertile or full of salt, which is not too good for sunny bunches. But even if grapes are grown on the coast, the drink from it reflects the whole gamut – notes of fresh breeze, the tart aroma of the hot sun and the tenderness of wildflower petals.
In Croatia, winemaking traditions go back several thousand years, and go back to the Greek settlements. When visiting Dubrovnik, you should go by sea a little further north and stop by the small town of Drace, Pelješac peninsula. It is here that the amazing Villa Edivo Vina, famous for its underwater winemaking, is located.
No, we haven’t confused anything – local wines are really aged for exactly two years at the bottom of the sea in tightly sealed amphoras at a depth of about 20 meters. The secret of such storage is the constant temperature (15-17 degrees) and sea water, which give the wines a subtle pine aroma and a unique taste.
Amphorae were chosen as storage containers for a reason: the natural material very quickly becomes covered with a fancy pattern of algae, shells and mollusks, which makes the vessel unique.
To mature wines at depth, Spanish oenologists came their own way: they studied wines that had lain at the bottom for several decades after shipwrecks and concluded that the conditions of “sea” storage are ideal for drinks. This is why many coastal wineries in Spain submerge bottles at the bottom.
At a depth of 20 meters in the Bay of Biscay, or rather Plensia Bay, you can see the simplest bright yellow buoy. And few people would guess that under it is a whole cellar, five hundred square meters, where bottles of wine are kept. The owner of the unusual cellar Borja Saracho has been obsessed with the idea of underwater storage of wines since 2008, and has embodied it by creating his own brand “Crusoe Treasure”.
The cage-shaped cellar holds 10,000 bottles, carefully stacked and secured horizontally. Even ecologists can be calm: the seabed has become less rocky, and a small reef and many marine inhabitants have appeared around.
Provence and the Cote d’Azur have long been famous for their excellent wines. And if you add the mild Mediterranean climate to the excellent taste and lightness, you get excellent conditions for winemaking. Of the local wines, rosés (rosé) are highly valued, as well as whites – the abundance of limestone in the soil helps to grow grapes with a unique taste.
Some of the best are the vineyards of Cassis and Bandol. They are located between the rocks and the sea coast, where they are constantly blown by a gentle breeze, giving the light berries a fresh taste. Bandol is known for its red wines with astringency and deep aroma, and bunches are grown between pine groves and white beaches from Marseille to Toulon.
This European region has an extremely long tradition of winemaking, so it is impossible to identify any one must-see place. The combination of vineyards and the coast is also common, but the island of Sicily has a special charm, where ancient recipes and customs are carefully honored.
Best of all, Sicilian winemaking can be experienced on the tiny islet of Salina, north of Sicily, where one of the oldest grapes, Malvasia, is grown. The wines here are dry and sweet, with a viscous aroma and a spicy rich taste.
The estate of the local Counts of Tasca houses an excellent hotel and restaurant, literally among the vines by the sea. And in the immediate vicinity there is an old lighthouse, after which the estate is named Tasca d’Almerita Capofaro.
Of course, there are many more remarkable wineries on the coasts of the seas and oceans, which will attract the attention of both connoisseurs of this noble drink and lovers of stunning landscapes, where the straight lines of vineyards converge with a wavy horizon of blue waters.
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