Veuve Clicquot has lowered hundreds of bottles of champagne deep into the Baltic Sea in an aging experiment that also commemorates the discovery of shipwrecked bottles in the same area about four years ago.
Three hundred regular bottles and 50 magnums of bubbly encaged in a specially built, underwater cellar, dubbed the Aland Vault after the Aland shipwreck off the coast of Finland, will remain buried for 50 years, reports wine publication The Drinks Business.
In 2010, divers near Finland’s autonomous Aland archipelago uncovered a cache of more than 165 bottles from champagne houses Veuve Clicquot, Heidsieck & Co and the now-defunct house of Juglar on the seafloor in a shipwreck dating between 1825 and 1830.
The haul included vintages dating back to 1839, and bottles that were perfectly preserved.
The deliberately submerged Veuve Clicquot bottles currently lie 40m below the surface, where they’ll be monitored by cellarmasters and occasionally retrieved for tastings.
Veuve Clicquot is the latest winery to experiment with underwater aging. Other wineries that have lowered bottles into the sea include Mira from the US and Larrivet Haut-Brion in Bordeaux, points out Decanter.
Drappier also lowered hundreds of bottles of bubbly in the sea to study the effect of the tide and water pressure on champagne maturation, adds The Drinks Business.
The Baltic Sea, meanwhile, offers unique aging conditions for its low levels of salinity and a constant temperature of 4C.