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Wonder who woke up one morning and thought it would be a grand wheeze to drop a barrel brimming with Shiraz into the sea, “just to see”? Well someone did. Back in 2010 off the Cape Agulhas Lighthouse at the tip of Africa, Hidden Valley did just that.

“After 15 months of “Marine Maturation” in the infamous Cape of Storms sea, at a depth of 12,5 meters, the barrel was retrieved and brought home to Hidden Valley Wines… and opened… and to our amazement the wine had not only survived, but flourished.”

Video: Hidden Valley Shipwreck Shiraz

From this barrel Hidden Valley have bottled 290 bottles. Each comes in its own case and is individually numbered. Cost to you, sir is R900 per bottle.

I love the tasting note… it ends with “A delicate sea saltiness lingers on the aftertaste”!

In 2010, Dave Hidden, owner of Hidden Valley, decided to attempt a unique sub-marine maturation of a beautiful Elim 2009 Shiraz. The vessel for this red wine was a third fill French Oak barrel, which was entombed in a 2,5 ton reinforced concrete case.

Specially designed to allow sea contact with the oak encased wine through holes in the concrete case, the sheer mass and design of the concrete tomb ensured that it would withstand the extreme underwater pressure and the huge swells of the most dangerous seas of the Cape of Storms.

Interestingly Dave Hiddens father sailed to South Africa in 1946 on the Merasheen, a converted wooden minesweeper. The Merasheen later sank, in 1947, just 100km away from where the Hidden Valley shipwreck Shiraz barrel was dropped.

1 Comment »

  1. Amazing story and great video, fun post to read, thanks!

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