Mira Winery made headlines earlier this year when it aged four cases of its 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon underwater in Charleston Harbor for three months. When the wine was later brought to the surface and tasted, Mira winemaker Gustavo Gonzalez was quoted as saying, “It’s not better, it’s not worse and it is definitely different. The land wine is tighter versus Aquaoir-aged wine, which is more complex and broad, more open and relaxed. The result is proof certain that we have more to learn.”
Inspired, perhaps, by the many shipwrecked bottles of wine uncovered over the years, some European wineries have experimented with storing wine in the ocean. Mira Winery in Napa Valley is the first American winery to do so, and it appears to have big plans for the process, even going so far as to trademark the term “Aquaoir” to describe the ocean’s effects on wine. While Aquaoir is not exactly analogous to terroir — wine grapes aren’t grown in the ocean — it is meant to call that term to mind.