Find out more about the delicious wines aging in the depths of the crystal blue Adriatic.
The special blend of impressive mountainous terrain, clean sea air and endless sunshine makes Croatia a land with plenty of potential for wine production. And the proof is in the pudding — we have more than 130 autochthonous grape varieties, as well as delicious wines ranging from the strong, full-bodied plavac to the fruity žlahtina. So, what is the next step for a wine-making country with the most beautiful sea in the world? To try and make wine underwater, of course!
Under the surface
Yes, you read that correctly, Croatia really has an underwater wine cellar! The unique “Coral Wine Project” started five years ago, and it’s actually a collaboration between the Adriatic Shell company and different wineries from all over the country, and even Europe. They send their wines to the shell company, which then sinks the bottles in specially designed cages and places them on certain spots on the shell farm, just off the coast of Pag.
The bottles are submerged to a depth of 15 to 30 meters under the sea, where there is no direct sunlight, the temperatures range from 8 to 16 degrees Celsius and everything is perfectly silent. The only things that stirs under the surface are sea currents and underwater wellsprings. The combination of these soothing natural elements provides a unique environment where wines mature for about 200 to 750 days, depending on the type of grape. Experts such as oenologists and sommeliers already had a chance to taste them, and say that the sea makes the wines age faster and brings out their fruitier, softer flavours.
The best wines in Croatia
Even if you’re not interested in the underwater wine and would much rather try the ones aged above sea level, our country’s winemakers are still bound to astonish you with their first-class offer!
While going on a wine tour of Croatia, one of the stops should definitely be the Royal Vineyards near Petrčane. Located in a mountainous wine region near the Adriatic Sea, these Croatian vineyards have the perfect microclimate for producing authentic wines of premium quality. However, in case you don’t have the time to visit wine tastings in famed Croatian wineries, you can also try some traditional varieties in the restaurants of Camping Village Šimuni, or even buy them at stores. Just know what you’re choices are: some of the best Croatian white wines are istarska malvazija (from the Istrian peninsula), pošip, debit and žlahtina, and the most famous Croatian red wines are made from grapes called babić, plavac mali and teran.
If the possibility of drinking wine made underwater piqued your interest, come visit the island where the fascinating wines come of age. Book your stay in one of the comfortable accommodation options of Camping Village Šimuni and enjoy a glass or two on the magnificent coast of Pag!