Wine aged on the bottom of the Harbor goes on tour

Wine aged on the bottom of the Harbor goes on tour (Image 1)

This past February we told you about a winery that was trying something new: aging wine under water. They chose to do it in the Charleston Harbor. Now, Mira Winery is moving on to their next phase of their experiment.

The experiment started nearly 10 months ago when Napa California based Mira Winery decided they wanted to study the effects of aging wine under water.

Wine maker Gustavo Gonzalez says it is the first of its kind experiment in the united states.

“We're just hoping to learn as much as we can about it. And we're pretty excited about what the possibilities could be. We're not sure how to incorporate it entirely into our wine making but we're pretty excited that something that seems as simple as aging in the water can have such a profound effect,” says Gonzalez.

In February of 2012, Mira placed four cases of their 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon on the bottom of the Charleston Harbor. Three months later, it was brought back to the surface. But now comes the fun part.

“We're kicking off a 7 day tour, where we're going to 7 different cities to taste the wine with 15 selected people,” says Gonzalez. The tour kicked off this evening in Charleston. It will make stops in Washington, D.C., New York City, Palm Beach, Florida, Little Rock, Arkansas, San Francisco and Los Angeles over the next week. The tasters will participate in a blind taste test to help the wine makers better understand the difference between the land aged wine and the ocean aged wine.

“The wine is a lot more evolved. We don't know how. I mean there's some things that your senses can pick up that chemistry can't. We've analyzed the wine chemically and its all pretty similar. But when you actually do smell and taste it, there's a pretty big difference between the two,” explains Gonzalez. While he has tasted the wine and can tell the difference, he now wants to know what others think.

Related Stories: Aging Wine in the Ocean

“We want to see if people can see the differences we're seeing and that some sommeliers are seeing as well. And just to compare it to what we saw on land, to see that it is actually quite different,” hopes Gonzalez.

The tasting tour will wrap up phase one of the experiment. But already Gonzalez and Mira Winery are starting phase two.

“Now the idea was once we completed phase one and we saw that it was successful, was to go back with a brand new vintage and age it for a much longer period. So we're putting the wine in today, November and then we're going to take them out in May of next year. So a much longer period of time. And see what effect that's going to have and we're hoping its going to be an even greater effect,” says Gonzalez of phase two.

This go around there will be eight cases of wine left on the Harbor floor for 6 months. They are also using a 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon that was just recently bottled.


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