For almost two years, California’s Mira Winery has been experimenting with a new process for aging wine that could revolutionize the industry.

The Napa Valley winemaker Gustavo Gonzalez has been overseeing the project in which barrel-fermented cabernet sauvignon was bottled and then dropped in secure crates into the 60-foot deep inlet formed by the junction of Ashley and Cooper rivers in Charleston, S.C.

“The new wave in wine making may be from something churning in the waters of Charleston harbor and Central Florida is getting the first peek,” writes Orlando Sentinel’s Heather McPherson about the first public tasting of Mira Winery’s ocean-aged “Aquaoir” at The Palm on Friday.

The concept is rooted in a splash of headlines that raised eyebrows and intrigue around the world in 2010 when bottles of centuries old champagne were salvaged from a Baltic Sea shipwreck. Several bottles were in remarkable condition for the style of sparkling wine popular in that day.

Gonzalez said he has been both pleased and fascinated with the results.

“The first wine we brought up was analyzed against the same vintage aged on land. Chemically they were identical but there was a distinct difference in the wines’ taste and aroma. The submerged wine had aged nicely with well-structured tannins. But a second collection of aqua-aged wine showed a much younger character, much like what you get from a young wine still in a barrel” said Gonzalez.

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