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Wine aged on ocean floor near Charleston Harbor

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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -

From the vineyard to the bottom of the ocean, a California winery is experimenting with a new way to age red wine.

Jim Dyke, President of Mira Winery said, "We have decided that we will experiment with ageing wine in Charleston harbor."

Curious but hopeful, wine makers of Mira Winery have turned to the ocean, wondering if it can help them create better wine.

"If there's a chance that putting wine in the ocean is going to improve the quality of our wine, we want to find out about it and it wouldn't hurt to find out about it first," said Dyke.

They're using cages specially designed to hold 48 bottles of cabernet that will have to withstand the ocean environment for 3 months.

"We'll take it out the last week of May just to see if our cages have held up the way they are supposed to work whether the wine is still there and check our temperature," said Dyke.

The wine will be tested in a lab but the deciding factor will come down to a taste test from the experts.

Gustavo Gonzalez is a winemaker and said, "The most important thing is the taste.

He also said good cabernet has a lot of fruit flavor and tannin, the tingly, sometimes dry sensation given after drinking it.

"I'm hoping that in 3 months that we will be able to see some differences in the wine. Not necessarily a better wine or a worse wine but a different wine," said Gonzalez.

They hope the dynamics of the ocean will add to the aging process of their wine which is usually done in barrels and bottles.

Dyke said, "Underwater, obviously you have a motion that you don't get in a typical storage facility, in a warehouse."

The California winery has southern roots and wine makers there picked Charleston because they say its a leading place in the food and beverage industry.

"What better place to make history in the food and beverage business than Charleston," said Dyke.

This is just the beginning stage for Mira Winery. In August they will put more wine on the bottom of the ocean for a longer period of time.

Mira wine is carried in fine dining restaurants around downtown Charleston.

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