Wine can age at sea! Are you surprised? And yet, several serious experiments have been carried out in recent years on the ageing of wine in water. Many winegrowers such as Emmanuel Poirmeur from Domaine EgiaTegia have adopted it and companies have specialised in this unusual breeding method. Why? Why? Conditions under the sea would be ideal for the wine to mature. The "aged at sea" wine is becoming more and more popular: it has particular aromas and, in addition, tells a beautiful story. Marketing concept or real scientific work? Focus on the trend of aging wine underwater!
Winemaking underwater is in vogue: several winegrowers try to age their wine bottles in the sea. Experiments have been multiplying in recent years in the Basque Country, the Aquitaine basin and Brittany. The bottles are immersed in the sea depths, between 10m and 90m depending on the site and for 6 to 12 months. Several winegrowers try this method of vinification or maturing. Emmanuel Poirmeur is one of them. A winegrower at Domaine EgiaTegia, he has been depositing his wine vats in the bay of Saint-Jean-de-Luz for 8 years now.
In addition to all these experiences, there are also stories of bottles recovered from the wrecks, some of which are very well preserved. The discovery of Champagne bottles at the bottom of the Baltic Sea in 2010 had rekindled the scientific debate on the conditions for storing wine. While the bottles had remained 170 years at a depth of 50 meters, the champagnes bluffed all the tasting specialists.
Taking advantage of this trend, the company Amphoris has embarked on this concept and now offers producers the opportunity to immerse their bottles of wine or champagne in the sea bed near the island of Ushant in Brittany.
Why this craze for the deep sea?
"The ocean is a real source of energy" says Emmanuel Poirmeur, "with temperature and pressure conditions that can be very interesting. Thus, in some places, whatever the time of year or day, the mixing of the sea makes it possible to keep the temperature around 13°C. »
The wine underwater is in total darkness and in perfect hygrometric conditions. In addition, the marine pressure is higher than that of a conventional cellar. Depending on the depth, the pressure can rise to 6 bar. Gas exchanges are then impossible in bottles.
Emmanuel Poirmeur goes much further in the use of ocean energy. The particular physical conditions of temperature and pressure on the ocean floor also influence yeast metabolism. It is an inexhaustible source for the search for new flavours!
The ageing of wine under the sea is an added value for the product, and at the same time an interesting marketing concept and a beautiful story to tell for wine. But in addition to the shellfish on the bottle, the ageing of wine underwater also allows the production of original and pleasant wines. In 2007 off Saint Malo, 600 bottles were buried for 1 year and tasted by oenologists and winegrowers. Submerged bottles would evolve more slowly, perfect for wines intended for ageing. According to the tasters, the evolution of the wine is amplified, they seem younger with more rounded aromas.
For Emmanuel Poirmeur, it is a fact: his wines vinified in the bay of Saint-Jean-de-Luz are pleasing. As proof, they are now listed in more than 60 starred restaurants!
Manon (Les Grappes)