We all heard of the 2010 startling discovery of 168 bottles of champagne found at the bottom of the Baltic Sea. Of the bottles further explored, they were said to date between 1839 and 1841. The dive team, there to study the contents of a shipwreck tasted the champagne (like anyone else making this discovery would have), and found sweet wine inside with some carbonation remaining; a truly surprising find! Some of the wines found were Veuve Clicquot wines, which were drinkable and displayed minimal damage, this after almost 200 years. It was this event that sparked the Maison Veuve Clicquot to build the Aland Vault, a container crafted for deep sea aging of wine. Clicquot’s plans state:
A selection of non-vintage Yellow Label (in 75cl and magnum bottles), Vintage Rosé 2004 and demi-sec wines [were] placed inside the Aland Vault, to be sent 40 meters below the surface of the sea, where its progress will be monitored by the Maison’s own cellar masters.
In all, Cellar in the Sea is planned to be a 40-year experiment as Veuve plans to extract the champagne in 2054.
From earthenware to oak, to stainless steel vats and now mother nature to age wines. The wine industry continues to innovate and experiment with production, and it makes one wonder what the story of wine will be for future generations. What’s next? Wine aged in outer space. Wait. No, that’s already in play!