Underwater Wine Ageing: Discover Tenuta Del Paguro’s Squilla Mantis  

Underwater wine ageing is a thing.

Let’s begin to consider this practice more than a fad or a ploy to create the wow effect (and raise prices). Aging wines underwater has several advantages and, over time, there are more and more wines made this way that deserve to enter the collections of discerning wine lovers. One among them? Albana di Romagna DOCG Squilla Mantis from the Tenuta Del Paguro winery. Discover how this wine was born in the depths of the Adriatic Sea.

Meet Tenuta Del Paguro Winery: A Trip to Ravenna and a Sip of Albana 

To get to know the underwater wines of Tenuta Del Paguro winery, you need to plan a little trip to Ravenna. Cradle of the most beautiful Byzantine mosaics in the world, this small city has an incredible amount of UNESCO heritage sites (find out more about my UNESCO Trail Wine Tasting). My advice is to take the first flight and explore this pearl of the Adriatic, because it is really worth it. Between visits (and a bite of piadina!), you must taste the famous Albana di Romagna DOCG wine. 

Albana is an indigenous grape variety of Emilia-Romagna. Like many wines from this region, it has a honest and rural spirit. It is a wine suitable for enjoying in company and is mainly known in its sweet version. 

However, Tenuta Del Paguro’s Squilla Mantis is a totally different story. 

Tenuta Del Paguro Squilla Mantis
Source: Tenuta Del Paguro official website

We are dealing with an elegant and mineral dry wine, pleasantly fruity and very persistent on the palate. You can taste dried apricots, orange peel and notes of tea and walnuts, all balanced by a fresh and salty bite.

Tenuta Del Paguro winery lies in the hills of the Vena del Gesso, not far from Ravenna and the Adriatic Sea. This is the territory where the wine makers grow their grapes.Ttwo indigenous varieties – Albana and Sangiovese – and two international varieties – Cabernet and Merlot. 

By adopting underwater bottle ageing, Tenuta Del Paguro rediscovered the ancestral relationship between sea and wine. 

The so-called Italian “salty wines”, in fact, date back to the ancient Romans. 

During bacchanals, pagan priests used salty wines made from grapes dried in the sun and mixed with seawater before ageing. This technique accelerated maturation and prevented the acetification of the wine. 

Tenuta Del Paguro looked in the past to produce truly unique and innovative wines, such as our Albana Squilla Mantis. A wine both of the land and of the sea.

Squilla Mantis: How It’s Made And Why It Should Be In Your Wine Collection 

To understand what makes Tenuta Del Paguro’s Albana di Romagna DOCG Squilla Mantis unique, let us start by explaining the advantages of underwater ageing

  • the absence of UV rays protects the wine from alterations due to light 
  • the total absence of oxygen is important to avoid oxidation 
  • the temperature is constant, around 10-13 degrees Celsius
  • the gentle movement of the tides keeps the wine molecules alive
  • the difference in pressure between bottling at 1 bar and ageing at 4 bar (30 meters depth) guarantees a more constant and balanced ageing of the wine

In addition, there is the charm of owning a bottle with rich coral encrustations and shells. A real masterpiece of wine making. Besides being a collector’s bottle, Squilla Mantis shows the unexplored potential of an indigenous Emilia-Romagna grape variety. 

Tenuta Del Paguro Squilla Mantis
Source: Tenuta Del Paguro official website

Instead of the usual sweet Albana di Romagna, this is a dry wine with great personality. Pair it with mouth-watering fresh pasta with mushrooms or meat main courses tending towards sweet, even with dried fruit. 

There is another reason why Tenuta Del Paguro’s Squilla Mantis deserves your attention: its incredible history.  

The bottles (only 1200 per year) age for 12-18 months at a depth of 30 meters underwater. They are stored in stainless steel cages in the wreck of the methane platform Paguro, which sank off the Adriatic coast on 29 September 1965 after a tragic fire. Over time, the sea has reclaimed the wreck, which is now home to oysters, hermit crabs, lobsters and redfish. A real renaissance for this platform, which is a Site of Community Importance since 1995. 

Curious To Taste Squilla Mantis? Organise A Private Wine Tasting!

To really appreciate this gorgeous wine, you should taste it ASAP! Contact me for more infos on how to start your wine cellar at home, or to organize a private wine tasting focused on unique Italian bottles. 

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