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latimes.com

Napa Valley winery ages wine -- in the ocean

By Ricardo Lopez

11:28 AM PST, February 20, 2013

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A California winery is conducting an aquatic experiment:

Napa Valley-based Mira Winery is aging 48 bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon in the Atlantic Ocean.

The winery said bottles of wine recovered from shipwrecks have a remarkable and unique flavor.

Thus, the winemaker believes aging the 2009 Cabernet in South Carolina’s Charleston Harbor will affect the red wine’s taste.

“The ocean has similar ideal elements that impact aging – temperature, pressure, humidity, pressure motion, light – or lack thereof – and oxygen,” said Gustavo Gonzalez, a Mira Winery winemaker, in a statement. “Is there something just as impactful and interesting in aquaoir as there is about terroir? We are going to try and find out.”

The bottles of wine will be placed in specially designed, submergible cages and left on the sea floor for three months beginning Wednesday.

Mira Winery says it will be the first U.S. winemaker to age its wine in the ocean. European vintners have conducted similar experiments in the past.

Once the wine finishes aging, local sommeliers will compare the vintage to an identical batch aged conventionally.

Wine enthusiasts can follow updates of the aging process through social media on Twitter and Facebook.

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ricardo.lopez2@latimes.com