Are you a wine lover and adventure enthusiast? Look no further than Croatia’s Underwater Winery at Edivo! After years of research and experimentation with locations, effects of storing wines underwater and sealants to protect the wine, Edivo Winery has discovered how to perfect the aging of wines under the Adriatic Sea!
Located in Drače on the Peljesac Peninsula off the southern coast of Croatia, this winery offers a unique experience to scuba dive down to a sunken ship and pick your own bottle off the deck at the world’s very first underwater winery.
The concept started about a decade ago when the owners were interested in creating something unique and wanted to try aging wines under the seas. They hired a research team to determine the best location for storing wines and looked into the effects of the sea life on the bottles, measured temperature variance and the amount of sunlight that reaches different depths. Through trial and error with the first batches over several years, they were able to create a sealant process with multiple layers of wax for the bottles that protects the wine from the surrounding sea water to prevent any from leaking in.
They tested different timelines and now age the white wines for about 6 months and the reds about 2 years between 18-25 meters under the surface.
Next they developed amphora jars that could offer the bottles further protection from the conditions, primarily preventing any sunlight from reaching the bottles.
The three aging processes now used are traditional cellar storage, the bottle aged underwater, and the amphora with the bottle encapsulated. Each process has noticeable differences when tasting wines from the exact same year and variety.
A few minute drive up the road from the winery is the dive center where you get outfitted for gear and store personal items before heading to the boat. After about a 15 min cruise on the boat, it is time to suit up and take the plunge!
Once at the bottom you are free to explore the ship which has bottles and amphoras inside and lining the deck. Don't miss stoping by the skeleton who is still clinging to his own bottle to say hello. After collecting a bottle to take home, it is time to resurface and head back to sample the treasure!
The Tasting and Takeaway:
Back at the wine shop, you get to sample a variety of Edivo's whites and reds and learn more about the process. All of the items used in the process, from the grapes to the clay for making the amphora jars, are homegrown in Croatia. Each of the tastings are paired with more local delicacies and I even got to eat the fresh oyster that had been growing on the side of the bottle I brought up!
The tour finishes with a visit to the cellar and then collecting your own bottle, which is conveniently provided in a wooden box to protect it on the return flight home.
Edivo is accessible from either Split or Dubrovnik, but closer and more direct from Dubrovnik. Renting a car and driving from either direction is substantially quicker and feasible to do on the well paved roads, but buses and ferries are an inexpensive and convenient method to travel if you do not want to hassle with driving a car.
Coming from Split: Renting a car and crossing with the Jadrolinija ferry from Ploce to Trpanj takes about 3 hours and 20 min.
The other option is to take a bus (I used Flix which was 2 hours and 40 min and cost 90 Kuna or $15 USD) and the ferry which cost 27 Kuna or $4.40 USD.
Coming from Dubrovnik: Renting a car and driving will take just under an hour and a half.
It is also possible to take a bus from Dubrovnik to Ploce (2 hours 45 min) and take the same ferry over.
So what are you waiting for? Take the plunge and dive down to score your own shipwreck treasure to sip on the beach!