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Innovating Depth: Paololeo's Underwater Wine Aging Project

At Wine Affairs, a prominent wine distributor located in Manhattan's Upper West Side, we're excited to introduce one of the most innovative projects from our partner, Cantine Paololeo. Known for their commitment to sustainability and quality, Cantine Paololeo has launched the "Underwater Cantina" project, a groundbreaking initiative in wine aging.

Paololeo's Underwater Aging Technique

On April 15th, at Porto Cesareo, Cantine Paololeo will initiate the "launch" of 1011 bottles of their Metodo Classico Pas Dosé sparkling wine into the sea. These bottles will age 30 meters underwater for 12 months, utilizing the seabed as a natural refrigerator. This method not only conserves energy but also significantly reduces CO2 emissions, aligning with Paololeo's Equalitas-certified sustainability practices.

The choice of underwater aging takes advantage of the constant temperature (12-14 degrees Celsius) and the gentle swaying of the waves, which are believed to encourage a more consistent and enduring remuage process. The pressure under these conditions, proportional to the temperature, also influences the aging process, with lower temperatures resulting in lower pressures, which is ideal for the refinement of sparkling wine.

Global and Regional Firsts

Paololeo is the pioneer in Puglia, and among the few in Italy, to experiment with this method, which is currently practiced by just over 30 wineries worldwide. This initiative represents a significant stride towards innovative winemaking, further positioning Cantine Paololeo as a leader in the wine industry.

The project kicked off with feasibility studies in the winter of 2018 and gained momentum in 2019 under the guidance of Dr. Nicola Leo, who was inspired by the underwater aging techniques developed by Dr. Lugano of Cantina Bisson. Despite setbacks due to the pandemic, extensive research and bureaucratic processes have now culminated in the realization of this unique aging project.

Community and Environmental Engagement

The launch event is supported by various local partners including the Municipality of Porto Cesareo, the Harbor Master's Office, and the Protected Marine Area, highlighting the community's enthusiastic involvement in sustainable and innovative practices. Special thanks go to Studio De Bartolomeo for coordinating the legal procedures, EPC for their support with innovative nautical resources, and Azeta Enology for technical assistance in the sparkling process.

Join Our Mission and Team

At Wine Affairs, we are dedicated to expanding our network with wine distributors who value such innovative and sustainable practices. We are also seeking passionate wine professionals and salespeople to join our team. 

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