Underwater wine

La Cuvée Neptune
Does the sea hold the secret to truly great wines? To find out a trio of French wine lovers – a vineyard manager, a barrel maker and an oyster farmer – teamed up to test the myth, above and below water.

Maturing wine in the ocean improves their quality

Bruno Lemoine, who runs the cellars of Chateau Larrivet Haut-Brion in the southwest Bordeaux region, asked his barrel-maker chum Pierre-Guillaume Chiberry to build him two small 56-litre wooden barrels in which to age his red wine by an extra six months.

One was to be kept in the chateau cellars, the other sunk underwater among the prized oyster beds of the Bay of Arcachon, north of Bordeaux on the Atlantic coast.

The barrel kept at the chateau was dubbed "Tellus", after the Roman goddess of the land, and the other "Neptune" after the sea god.