The whole thing has actually started in 2007 at my bachelor’s party with friends when we buried three rather expensive bottles for 10 years about 1 m deep in a forest in central Switzerland. Guess what: the wine has aged perfectly under really adverse conditions since the bottles were subject to seasonal temperature changes of 10 degrees Celsius or more and were experiencing changes in soil humidity from completely dry to soaked in ground water.
So: What about those who say that wine can only be preserved with constant climatic conditions?
There have been several instances during the last years where either I or a colleague did bury a fine bottle of wine, geo-tagged the site and motivated others to find it. Preferrably on Elba Island. The idea ha ripened for building a geocaching initiative where you can find “wine caches” buried underground. The idea would be that you could get a nice outdoor experience and have a good drink with wine you would have never bought yourself. The rules for such a game would need to be created. The main rule would be that you have to re-dig a wine of your choice once you have emptied a cache. The main problem with this game is that current geo-caching initiatives do not (geocaching.com or opencaching.de) do not allow to hide alcoholic beverages since they are open for everybody. The project “winedigger” (let’s call it this way for the moment, there is no such website to date) would therefore have to be an adults-only (18+ year old) game.
Please get back to me if you would want to take the initiative and start the project.
Wine-Cache No. 1: Verzasca Valley Switzerland
Located in the beautiful Verzasca Valley in southern Switzerland, this typical (but not most expensive) Merlot grape wine was buried by me on 8 August 2023.
46.346050 °N, 8.791470 °E 897 m.asl. (Precision: 3-5 m)
Here are some pictures for you to guess what to expect. Note that the bottle is located in around 70-80 cm depth and you may have trouble to get to the place in spring during snow melt and after heavy showers. You need a shovel to dig since you may be off by 1-2 m.
In case you get lost, here follow two pictures of larger stone formations in the vicinity. Actually, the bottle is located just in the middle of those two stone formations …
Wine-Cache No. 2: Elba Island, Italy
If you ever visit Elba, don’t miss out the southern part of Lacona. It offers fine food, beaches without big buildings in your back and … a wine cache. Also don’t miss out the restaurant Bagni Orano. You can enjoy fine fish dishes while massaging your feet in the sand.
42.759740 °N, 10.307220 °E 2 m.asl. (Precision: 3 m)
We also have included a few kid’s toys. But be aware: the cache is burried around 1 m deep in the sand. You will need a good shovel (an avalanche shovel is a helpful tool for sand digging) and you may need to get rid of daytime spectators before digging. Sunset or sunrise is a good time for wine cache digging. If you need a hint: the sixt pole shall it be and not more than 9 steps you shall walk towards the sea.
Wine-Cache No. 3: Pfynwald Wallis in Switzerland
The Salgesch Village in the Canton Wallis in Switzerland is known for its superb wines. If you ever happen to be there, please don’t miss out the Gregor Kuonen Wine Cellar for tasting a few of the finest wines of southern Switzerland. A few km south of Salgesch on the southern side of the Rhone river lies the Pfynwald nature reserve. I have burried a fine bottle of Gregor Kuonen red wine for you. Notably not in the nature reserve itself but in a agriculturally used grazing field just at the border to the forest. Depth is only around 20 cm. Have fun!
46.298690 °N, 7.583840 °E 560 m.asl. (Precision: 3-5 m)
Good luck with finding! And please let me know if you have replaced it with a bottle of your choice. And even more importantly, please leave me a note on the wine tasting ceremony!