When you think of wineries, you probably envision big estate houses, the lush vines, and rolling hills with vineyards. Of course, each winery has its own unique atmosphere, but some have a lot more personality than others! There are the slightly off-beat wineries and vineyard locations like a gas station or a cemetery, and then there are the next three that are truly unique and strange:
Croatia is home to gorgeous coastlines and stunning views, and for such a small country, many wineries! But Edivo Vina isn’t just any winery – it’s several hundred feet under water in the Adriatic Sea. The sea provides excellent conditions for aging the wine with its cool temperatures and quiet environment. Visitors can sit at the wine bar and enjoy some of the wine on dry land, or get a truly unique experience and go on a scuba diving tour to view the sunken boat that functions as a cellar, and pick out a bottle for dinner!
The Bodegas El Grifo winery has been around for over 200 years on the island of Lanzarote, just west of Morocco. What sets this winery apart from others is that the island is home to an old volcano, and the majority of the land is covered with black, seemingly lifeless lava. Volcanic vineyards are gaining more interest as of late, due to their ability to preserve unique grape varieties that product many different flavors from those we tend to see. This ash and pumice-laden terroir encourages the growth of the grapes, and also discourages the growth of phylloxera pest. A visit to this winery will allow you to explore its unusual lava-gravel vineyards and sample some of its unique and award-winning Malvasia wine.
When you think you’ve heard it all, there’s the vineyard in a nuclear power plant. You read that right – a nuclear power plant in Finland is the home to a vineyard that produces the very hardy Zilga grape known for its ability to thrive in cold temperatures (with a small assist from radio-active warmth). On Olkiluoto Island, the temperature can get as low as 20° F, so some of the water from the working power plant is diverted to keep the soil warmer for the grapes. (No word on any radioactivity in the wines…) Brave souls can visit this vineyard, but you might want to bring your own wine – this winery produces only 850 kg of grapes annually from 0.1 hectare. Fun fact about this one: it is the most northern vineyard on the planet.