Lonely Planet Writer

Zivjeli! Croatia has its first underwater winery and it's open to visitors

If you’re a fan of the grape, the first underwater winery in Croatia has just opened in Drače on the Pelješac Peninsula. Travellers can join experienced divers to explore the hidden underwater world of the Edivo Vina winery, and can also see the old sunken boat that is located at the bottom of the Mali Ston Bay.

The first underwater winery in Croatia has just opened in Drače on the Pelješac Peninsula. Image: Edivo Vina
The first underwater winery in Croatia has just opened in Drače on the Pelješac Peninsula. Image: Edivo Vina

The winery is owned by Ivo and Anto Šegović and Edi Bajurin. After being aged for three months, their wines are stored in clay jugs known as amphorae under the sea for one – two years. It is believed that amphorae gives the wine a specific pinewood aroma, and the owners say that the wine doesn’t lose any of its quality, colour or aroma from this method.

The first underwater winery in Croatia has just opened in Drače on the Pelješac Peninsula. Image: Edivo Vina
The first underwater winery in Croatia has just opened in Drače on the Pelješac Peninsula. Image: Edivo Vina

The bottles are protected internally by a cork and two layers of rubber, and are arranged in cages and secured with padlocks to prevent theft. In addition to wine from amphorae, there are also wine bottles that are ‘aged’ in the Adriatic sea. The sunken boat is used as an underwater cellar and it keeps the amphorae for 700 days at a temperature of 15 to 17 degrees.

The first underwater winery in Croatia has just opened in Drače on the Pelješac Peninsula. Image: Edivo Vina
The first underwater winery in Croatia has just opened in Drače on the Pelješac Peninsula. Image: Edivo Vina

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.

The first underwater winery in Croatia has just opened in Drače on the Pelješac Peninsula. Image: Edivo Vina
The first underwater winery in Croatia has just opened in Drače on the Pelješac Peninsula. Image: Edivo Vina

Once removed, the amphorae are covered in sea flora and fauna, including corals and shells, and this makes them unique gifts.

The first underwater winery in Croatia has just opened in Drače on the Pelješac Peninsula. Image: Edivo Vina
The first underwater winery in Croatia has just opened in Drače on the Pelješac Peninsula. Image: Edivo Vina

For further information on the winery, see here.

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