The Ocean Aged Process
Ageing wine in the ocean is nothing new. Bottled wine has been in ageing inadvertently inside shipwrecks for hundreds of years and is regularly recovered and sold at auction for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The ocean provides ideal conditions for cellaring and maturation, perhaps even better than the best underground cellars, with filtered light, hydrostatic pressure, and relative constant temperatures. In the case of sparkling wine, there is another element that can enhance the maturation process – the gentle motion of ocean currents.
When sparkling wine is produced under the Traditional Method, or Méthode Champenoise as it’s known in France, the wine is aged on yeast lees following its secondary fermentation in bottle. Thereafter, bottles are stored horizontally in picking bins where the yeast cells settle and form a thin layer along the length of the bottle.
By comparison, cellaring bottles on the ocean floor enables the gentle motion of ocean currents to maintain the yeast lees in suspension. This has the effect of increasing the surface area to volume ratio (yeast to wine) which enhances the maturation process and development of flavours like freshly baked bread, pastry and brioche.
Our Ocean Aged Vintage Cuvée is cellared on the ocean floor for a minimum 1-2 years. Each bottle is sealed under crown and dipped in wax to ensure no corrosion or ingress of water. The bottles are submerged in crates and tethered to an anchor. After ocean ageing, the crates are recovered from the ocean floor and each bottle is riddled and disgorged by hand. The bottles’ exterior is preserved in its raw and unique state making each bottle one of a kind.