The Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting, the world’s most prestigious water-tasting event, gave out awards recently to waters from three continents. All five continents had waters among the 112 entered.
The audience was filled with water enthusiasts coming from as far as Australia and British Columbia. Ten media judges spent hours tasting and selecting from waters sourced in 14 states, five Canadian provinces, and 11 foreign countries. “There were waters from two new countries this year: Grenada and Taiwan. They joined waters from Turkey, Bosnia, Greece, and Australia” said Jeanne Mozier, an event founder.
Municipal Water Winners
The municipal water category was a battle of champions with the water judged best in the world for 2019— Clearbrook, British Columbia, Canada—also the biggest medal winner in the event’s history. The best water in the USA is Eldorado, Colorado, a first-time municipal winner along with the sliver medalist from first-time entrant Hamilton, Victoria, Australia.The bronze winner is previous medalist, Independence, Missouri, and fourth is another repeat winner, Desert Hot Springs, California. For the first time, Berkeley Springs water won, placing fifth.
“The consistency in winners from year to year with different panels of judges validates the choices,” remarked perennial watermaster, Arthur von Wiesenberger. “It also speaks to the impressively high caliber of the waters entered.”
The Best in Bottled Water
The Best Bottled Water category had one return medalist and a vintage winner from the earliest days of the event. The gold medal went to Smeraldina Natural Artesian Water, Sardinia, Italy, with the silver going to long-time event supporter Grand Springs, Alton, Virginia.The bronze went to a first-time entrant Mount Pure Natural Mineral Water from St. George’s, Grenada, West Indies. Castle Rock Spring Water, Dunsmuir, California, is a former medalist and placed fourth. The fifth place winner came in cans, a first for the event and quite popular with the audience. Little Swiss, Gap Mills, West Virginia, is bottling water from Sweet Springs, West Virginia, one of the event’s first repeat winners in the early 1990s.
Sparking, Purified and Flavored Essence
Sparkling waters are sourced from three continents and include mostly new winners. Gold medalist is a first-time winner, Mountain Valley Spring Water Sparkling, Hot Springs, Arkansas. The silver medalist is a multiple past winner, Touch Sparkling Mineral Water, Marchand, MB, Canada. Bronze was won by Oravida Natural Artesian Water, Otakiri, Whakatane, NZ. Fourth place is BLVD, Yolla Tasmania, Australia, while fifth is a tie between OGO Sparkling Water, Sandilands, MB, Canada, and Waiheke Minerals, Waiheke Island, New Zealand.
Purified waters are a relatively new addition to the water world, often municipal systems bottling their water. For the first time ever, hometown Berkeley Springs Purified Water, Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, won the gold medal. There was a tie for the silver medal with Waiheke Mineral Plus, Waiheke Island, New Zealand, and Lesage Water, Lesage, West Virginia. The bronze went to Ophora Water, Santa Barbara, California, and fourth place is Waiheke Still, Waiheke Island, New Zealand.
“It was another wonderful year for the longest running and largest water tasting in the world,” said von Wiesenberger. “Berkeley Springs is the Academy Awards of water.” He also praised the selection of the Lifetime Achievement Award to Joe Doss of the International Bottled Water Association and welcomed participation of the award sponsorship by WaterExpo of Guangzhou, China.
The crowd was interested in two peoples’ choice categories where it was their votes that chose the winners. The packaging category had 16 entrants, the most ever, competing for most alluring. Svalbaroi Polar Iceberg Water from Longyearbyen, Norway, won the gold for the third year in a row. Silver went to Waiheke Minerals, Waiheke Island, New Zealand. Bronze is Iceberg Water, Lewisporte, NL, Canada, fourth is Oravida Natural Artesian Water, Otakiri, Whakatane, NZ, and fifth is also from New Zealand where they take packaging seriously. Antipodes, Otakiri, Whakatane, NZ is a repeat winner.
Flavored Essence Sparkling Water was a new category in 2018, and the number of entrants doubled this year. The crowd’s favorite was Mountain Valley Blackberry Pomegranate Sparkling Water of Hot Springs, Arkansas. The silver medal went to OGO Lime Sparkling, Sandilands, MB, Canada. Mountain Valley also won the bronze with White Peach Sparkling Water.
The 30th annual Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting is scheduled for Saturday, February 22, 2020.
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