Slovenian wine matures also deep below the sea’s surface

Published: 21.2.2011

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Slovenian wine matures also deep below the sea’s surface

Oceanus from Greek mythology is the God of the four waters surrounding the Earth. He did not lend his name only to the world’s seas, but also to the special sparkling wine made by Slovenian winemaker Silvo Črnko from Jarenina in Šentilj, which has matured at the bottom of Piran Bay since 2009.

Slovenian wine matures also deep below the sea’s surface

Oceanus from Greek mythology is the God of the four waters surrounding the Earth. He did not lend his name only to the world’s seas, but also to the special sparkling wine made by Slovenian winemaker Silvo Črnko from Jarenina in Šentilj, which has matured at the bottom of Piran Bay since 2009.

Slovenian winemakers produce fine wines in an innovative way also deep below the level of the sea. The Črnko family got the inspiration for the wine cellar, which is 18 meters under water, from listening to a story their daughter was telling them about a diving trip, on which they buried a bottle of champagne in the sea bed. They teamed up with the Fonda fish farm, which is famous for its exquisite farmed Piranean sea bass. With their help, in early spring, six months after the grape harvest and fermentation in the barrels, they lower a few hundred bottles of Pinot blanc sparkling wine to the sea bed. The Črnko sparkling wine firstly matures at the bottom of the sea at a favourable 12 degrees. It`s the first such practice in the European Union.

In addition to the permanently low temperatures, which vary annually by a maximum of only two degrees, the Styrian sparkling wine, which in recent years has been joined by wines from Goriška brda, matures well also due to other specific factors. Also the absence of air should be mentioned, which usually leeks through the cork into the bottle and causes oxidation. The movement of ocean currents slightly moves the extra dry sparkling wine with intense tiny bubbles, delicate scents and tastes constantly, and in this way it makes sure the wine does not fall asleep, but is also not tired.

At the beginning of October the crates with bottles of this exceptional Slovenian sparkling wine are moved away from the seashells, algae, corals, ribbon worms, tube worms and other marine organisms. Their traces on the bottles are real works of art. About two thirds of the bottles remain intact and one can buy or try the wine at the wine maker or in selected restaurants.

With such an innovative way of "cellaring" Slovenian wine makers repeatedly prove that they belong in the top world producers of fine wines. To a number of awards, which they have won in recent years at international festivals, a number of innovations have been added and new ways of dealing with vines, which we have always nurtured in Slovenia. You can taste the wine in April at a number of creative wine festivals throughout Slovenia. Welcome to the Festival of Flowers, Wine and Olive Oil in Ankaran or to the Wine Festival in Podgorci.

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