The Sea Was Here

portofino wines


If you have been to Portofino in Luguri, Italy, you know how re-god-damn-diculously beautiful it is. If you have not been I recommend you get there as soon as humanly possible. I remember arriving by ferry to the tiny "Port of Fino", thinking to myself, "people talk about places like this, but I never thought they actually existed." It was as if my eyes couldn't possibly perceive all the beauty. They were untrained; not capable. Places like this also create beautiful things. 

A perfect example is the Spumante Brut Abissi Bisson wine. Abissi Bisson is a producer of some gorgeous white wines in the region of Liguri. When owner Pierluigi Lugano decided to make sparkling wine, he came upon a storage problem. Resourceful man that he is, he realized the ocean is a perfect place to store and age wine.

In winemaking, in order to obtain a creamier mouthfeel in a wine the winemaker will often "stir the lees". This is basically moving dead yeast cells around to gain texture and body. This activity requires man hours that are better spent drinking and eating. But the ocean? With its swelling and ebbing will do that job no problem. Temperature and light are also a factor when aging wine. You need a cool dark place. Yet again, the ocean wins out. So, Pierluigi Lugano went out on his fishing boat, placed his bottles into a cage and dropped them to the bottom of the ocean for 18 months. When it was time to retrive them, L'Oceano had made its mark. Barnacles, starfish and sea dust proudly proclaimed "The Sea Was Here" on each bottle. These wines are salty, bright, creamy and refined all in one crusty bottle.