Croatia's tourist offer has recently been enriched for one more attraction – the first underwater winery!
An hour drive from Dubrovnik, at Drace on the Peljesac peninsula a group of enthusiastic Croatian entrepreneurs took their wine story under the sea surface.
The idea came to the owners five years ago and they believe that the sea provides natural cooling in ideal conditions and the perfect silence underwater improves the quality.
''Five years ago we came up with an idea of launching this project, although the story began by chance twelve years ago, when we got a bottle of wine as a gift that had leftovers of an old amphora on top'', said Edivo Vina.
Apart from placing bottles of wine under water, they also provide visitors with the opportunity of diving in by themselves and witness the whole process. As a bonus, visitors can also dive to the shipwreck of an ancient ship.
The whole process, however, begins on the surface. After being aged for three months, wine is then stored in amphorae, special clay jugs with a narrow neck and two handles. After that, it is kept under the sea surface for a year or two. ''This unique way of wine storage gives it a special pinewood aroma'', says Lonely Planet.
In order to prevent any kind of contamination, the owners have taken every precaution; all bottles are corked, and two layers of rubber are added to prevent saltwater from leaking in, and wine from leaking out. The amphorae are then packaged in cages and locked to prevent any unwanted divers from taking this unique brand of alcohol with them.
It is interesting to note that Condé Nast Traveler, the world popular luxury and lifestyle travel magazine, praised Edivo Vina as ''Wines you can find if you dive in the sea near Dubrovnik!''