• Sat. Feb 24th, 2024

Deep Sea Wine: Tokyo-Based Firm Takes a Novel Approach to Revive Kagoshima Prefecture’s Local Economy


Feb 12, 2024
Utilizing Undersea Wine Aging to Stimulate Economy of the Southwestern Japan Island

A Tokyo-based firm is taking a novel approach to revive the local economy in Kagoshima Prefecture, located in southwestern Japan. They have submerged wine bottles in an undersea cellar off Amami-Oshima Island in the Oshima Strait, hoping that the aging process will attract customers to the region.

The practice of aging wine underwater is well established around the world. The submerged conditions provide a consistent temperature, higher pressure, and protection from excessive light, which are ideal for maturing wine. According to company president Yui Moritani, while this process is uncommon in Japan, there is potential for growth and interest.

On January 30th, 2024, a total of 500 bottles of European wine were placed in stainless steel cages at a depth of about 20 meters off Setouchi town on Amami-Oshima Island. Most of the bottles will remain in the sea until June before being served to customers in July. Additionally, some bottles will be left to age longer so that the company can determine the optimal maturation period for their best tasting wine.

Recently, the company opened a local restaurant serving wine in Setouchi and plans to establish an underwater aging service for customers’ wine bottles in the future. Besides economic goals, Moritani also hopes that the undersea wine cellar will serve as an artificial reef that attracts fish and sea life like seaweed. This will absorb carbon dioxide and improve the environment.

Despite facing challenges such as warmer water temperatures, Moritani remains optimistic about innovation and growth potential in this area. Although warmer temperatures may cause rapid aging of wine, they can also offer an advantage by allowing customers to taste unique wines with distinct flavors.

Moritani noted that maintaining low temperatures throughout summer would be crucial for keeping bottled wines from overheating or spoiling during their long stay underwater.

Overall, this innovative project has attracted attention from locals and tourists alike and could bring significant economic benefits to Kagoshima Prefecture while promoting environmental sustainability through responsible winemaking practices.

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