Underwater wine-discovering a mysterious wine in Secret Tuscany

Dreams, underwater wines inspired by shipwrecks and poetry.
Underwater Wines 2


When I was a slip of a lass I fell into the ‘good job in the city’ trap also known as selling your soul to the devil. Before I knew it I was ruled by the tyranny of timesheets and manical boss,  shackled to my desk by a combination of high salary, high debts and negative equity. 

In the moral vacuum of the city what kept me breathing was thoughts of Italy and the impossible dream that one day I might spend more than than the four weeks of rationed holiday a year there. That’s the thing about hope, you have to believe it, no one can come to you from decades hence whisper in your ear and say it will all be okay. You just have to trust it will, believe in and strive for your dreams.

An embodiment of that dream lies in the film ‘The Good Year’  (I spent many a year half in love with the character played by Russell Crowe, the other half with Albert Finney his film uncle) It remains a firm favourite, the story of escape from the city, to a crumbling old chateau in France. In the film the chateau has a secret- Le Coin Perdu, the lost corner.

Underwater wine inspired by shipwrecks

Somehow the dream became a reality and now we have our own vitcultural secret too which I will now share with you.

Our house wine all comes from Segreto which actually means  ‘The secret’

It is a  wonderful Tenuta which sits between the sea and the mountains, just up from Lago Massicuicoli in our wonderful corner of Tuscany on the Lucchese/ Pisan borders. https://cantinetenutamariani.it/products/segreto-wine-oil-food-top-experience

The wine is organic so it is virtually good for you.

Once virgin Italian visitors have got the obligatory Leaning Tower of Pisa and lap of the Lucchese walls ticked off their lists  we can kick back  and ease them into our Italian dream.  A trip to La Segreto for wine tasting and stocking up the cellars is a favourite.

The vineyard is a  small, personal and passionate production that started 15 years ago. They could not have chosen a more idyllic spot.

Lines of carefully curated vines shelter beneath a steep hill forested with pines and olives  overlooked by a rather splendid farmhouse. All face west towards the lake and  beyond to the Tyrrhenian Sea.

For wine tasting we sit on cloth covered bails of straw in leafy shade or beneath a sail. We can gaze out over  rows of vines towards painted houses with terracotta tiles into a  haze  which we know holds the lake, the sea and the distant mountains of the Cinque Terre.

Go there for the  sunset. Then when darkness brings intimacy, share secrets amongst trees strung with  fairy lights complimented by candle lit lanterns.

You taste (er..drink) quantities of the  wines oo-ing over the descriptions, arhing as you try to discern the hints and tastes referred to whilst obscuring one’s palette by scoffing down local various cheeses and meats.   Usually, several cases clinking in the car, we roll our guests home absolutely bladdered (being a lightweight I am always, but always, designated driver)- assuring them that they are unlikely to have a pounding headache due to the low sulphates.

GS has a special relationship with one of the cantina assistants. He’s a strapping lad (not unlike Russell Crowe) and I regularly have to taser lash-batting  women away from him.  I do so with heavy eye rolling but an otherwise a straight face due to over enthusiastic botox.

Amongst the charcuterie and cheese is one which you scoop out- scoppolato. This is a  very local Tuscan cheese from the Versilia coast. Soft and creamy. Spreadable. Well, scoop able.

Here’s an article about its origin https://salumigombitelli.it/en/prodotto/pedonas-scoppolato/


 I’ve always thought that the Tower of Babel was a pub as it seems to me that veins awash with alcohol guarantee fluency in any language.  One visit GS, leading the charge in the wine tasting and emboldened by some serious quaffery, attempted to ask the fair maiden if we should scoop the cheese with a spoon.

‘Noi scopare’ said GS

She froze.

None of us knew  that to scopare is to get laid.  She weighed up screaming for the hills/dropping her knickers in the hay barn  and then  explained his faux pas. Everyone fell about laughing like smash pototo aliens.  

Later on she urgently requested GS follow her inside which was somewhat concerning, but to his disappointment it turned out to be just a hornet that needed to be shooed out.

Having heroically saved the day GS has been welcomed back with open arms since.

You can get into a lot of difficulty with a little knowledge of Italian. I once asked GS to go and get chicken tits from the local shop. 

Here’s a useful article on naughtly Italian. https://girlinflorence.com/2013/08/15/beware-of-these-italian-words/

Just don’t (ever) mention figs.

Segreto wines

We love their Segreto wine. They love their wine and it shows. They know exactly what grape, what field the wine goes into, and how close the fields are to the sea.

Translated from their own words which ooze the romance of a fine wine, better than I ever could- 


For the French it would be a Vin de Sable, we call it SabbiaMare.

Best known in France, beach wines or sand wines are unique, particular and… marine wines!

SabbiaMare, in the white and rosé version, comes from our vineyards located in the Migliarino and San Rossore Park, on sandy soil 600 meters from the sea, where the roots of our vines sink into the saline sand that was once bathed by sea water, and the brackish of the sea lies on the leaves of our vineyards.

Produced with little filtration and low sulphite content, it is a natural wine, so pleasant that it is also considered thirst-quenching.

These sandy soils a few meters from the sea, the sea breeze that caresses the grapes make them fresh, saline and fruity, with a marked flavor that makes them suitable for aperitifs but also throughout the meal.

The vines used are a Sangiovese vinified in white, Vermentino and Chardonnay for the white version and a Sangiovese and Syrah for the rosé version.

On our recent trip we discovered a new delight- underwater wine.

Underwater Wines in cradle
The underwater wine is returned having been cradled and rocked by the sea for years.
Chateau Shrodinger
Ian's 'Chateau Shrodinger' wine- each one of these tells a story. Is the wine good or bad? Who knows? Who cares?
Underwater Wines 2
Each bottle is a unique work of art.

Every cloud has a silver lining and it turns out that underwater wine rescued from Davy Jones’ locker ie fallen to the sea bed from shipwrecked or scuttled galleons are rather… particular.

Ido, the boss, who looks like an Italian rock star, showed us an empty bottle. I’ve never seen wine bottled in blue glass before. ‘You can fill them with fairy lights afterwards’  he said

I was already down for buying the lot.

Ido’s eyes became deep pools swirling like Kaa in the Jungle Book. His voice lowered to the calm coaxing of a hypnotist as he told us how the wine is aged…

‘…. lowered in the Tyrrhenian to a depth of 55 meters in protected waters at a secret location forbidden to fishermen….. left for years in the darkness at  a constant temperature, rocked by the gentle movement of the sea as if in a lullaby and the wind in cradle…. retrieved by divers…

‘How does it taste?’  asked GS


‘How much does it cost?’ asked GS  apparently swallowing a fly.

The bottles were utterly beautiful, magical, each unique. Entrusted with traces of the fauna and flora that had colonised the bottles on the seabed, as if they were part ship wreck treasure, part coral. The next second and the markings  had turned into a portrait of  the night sky dotted with stars and populated by mythical beasts. This from the seas of Grosseto where legend has it mermaids steal fishing boats.  Look again and it had the detail of a forest in a medieval  tapestry.

We bought two bottles to treasure but will probably never open.

‘We’ll add them to our Chateau Schrodinger wine collection’ said GS wearing his philosopher/physicist/cat hat.

This is the technical stuff.



Sogni e Poesie
In vino veritas, in italiani vini sogni e poesie

In vino veritas. In wine, truth.

In vino sogni e poesie. In wine, dreams and poetry. I promised a poem.

‘There was a young man from Nantucket…’  offers GS 

No, instead here’s a little ditty wot I wrote when I escaped the city and lived in Rome. I found it when I was unpacking an old box. I’m no poet (nor writer either, I know), so strap in for a rustic word salad, but it still captures a swim back in the 90’s when I had the dress in the photo, ripped  the page from a magazine and scratched down some words.

I want to dance again, I want to be free
Cast moon shadows, Be pulled with the sea
Look through the stars, And never be far from -you?
Am I falling again?, This time for you?
Who are you?And what will our future be?
I look at you swimming with me
I dive under. I am free
I am alone again
A fish
A fish in the sea
Life held in a sigh
And- anyway
Who am I?
What matters the future
If the present is now?
We live forever if we live in the now
Dreamy Roman days
My baby girl
The Segreto secret to a happy life

I hope you have enjoyed my little bloglet, and forgive that it was a bit on the rambling side this time. I have so much fun ‘researching’ these and hope that you enjoy discovering our little corner of Tuscany too.  Come visit wonderful Tuscany! Please do comment and or course share amongst any other lovers of Italy who may enjoy it. 

Thank you 🙂 Pia from Tuscany

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *