Napa Valley winery placing wine on ocean floor in Charleston Harbor to test aging
A Napa Valley winery with local ties is giving a new meaning to the term “wet bar” by embarking on an intriguing taste test today.
Mira Winery said it plans to become the first American winery to experiment with ocean aging by submerging four cases of its 2009 cabernet sauvignon in specially designed cages in Charleston Harbor. The goal is to understand the difference between wine aged on the ocean floor versus wine aged in the warehouse.
A dive team is scheduled to leave from the Charleston Maritime Center at 10 a.m. today to place the cases. They will remain there for three months. Afterward, the wine will be tested and tasted with bottles of the same vintage stored in similar conditions above ground.
The president of St. Helena, Calif.-based Mira Winery is political consultant Jim Dyke Jr., who lives in Charleston.
Mira Winery said several European wineries have experimented with aging and storing wine in the ocean, though it believes its project is the first of its kind in the United States.
“The ocean has similar ideal elements that impact aging — temperature, pressure, humidity, pressure motion, light — or lack thereof — and oxygen,” Gustavo Gonzalez, Mira Winery’s winemaker, said in the statement. “Is there something just as impactful and interesting in aquaoir as there is about terroir? We are going to try and find out.”