From Rock to Spring: Five Regions Creating Unique Mineral Water

Water

It’s hard to believe mineral water drawn from the source is just that: ready to drink, straight from the source.

And what’s more, how each drop is not only naturally filtered and pure, but characterized by specific minerals it’s picked up along the way. 

There are a number of factors that give mineral water its own unique minerals and distinct taste. Namely, the particular region’s climate, terrain and landscape which the water flows through, characterizing each mineral water and making no two waters the same – the uniqueness of which is known as the ‘terroir’ of water.

At Mitte, we’re creating hydration solutions inspired by the natural water cycle: water that is purified, but enhanced with important minerals. So here’s a run-through of five special regions that create mineral water uniquely characterized by that very cycle.

Rogaška Slatina, Slovenia

If you ever wondered whether mineral water could be curative, you might be familiar with Slovenian water. Situated in the middle of one of the most tectonically diverse areas in the world, Slovenia is a country shaped by its lakes and waters. 

The oldest rock layer water flows through is around 285 million years old. Some also vary in colour due to their mineral content, as with the orange-brown rocks at the foothills of the Olševa mountain which are a strong source of iron. And with 14 natural thermal spas, it’s easy to see why Slovenia’s hydrogeology is so special.


Every liter of the water in
Rogaška Slatina contains about 1000mg of magnesium, making 0.3 liters of it the equivalent amount of magnesium as eating ten bananas.

In the town of Rogaška Slatina, following a centuries-long tradition (as early as 1572) to preserve its supply, water is sourced from 280-600 meters below the surface. Here, its water first flows through the surrounding rocks, picking up calcium sulphates and hydrogen along the way, as well as other elements, including naturally occurring carbon dioxide. 

What follows is spring water exceptionally rich in minerals, and particularly rich in magnesium. In fact, every liter of the water in Rogaška Slatina contains about 1000mg of magnesium, making 0.3 liters of it the equivalent amount of magnesium as eating ten bananas.

And it’s even scientifically proven to have medicinal properties: that is, waters deeply rich in magnesium aid with up to 300 body processes, including digestion. 

Borjomi, Georgia

Another region famed for water with medicinal properties is in Georgia – a country known not just for its high quality mineral water and taste, but for its naturally hot spring water.

At around 38-41°C, Borjomi water makes its way up, pushed by the pressure of naturally occurring carbon dioxide.

In the Borjomi region, mineral water owes its composition to a 1,500-year-old process, where it travels from volcanic depths and eventually rises up in springs at the base of the Caucasus Mountains.

What’s special about this water is that, unlike other sodium bicarbonate mineral waters, it doesn’t cool down before it reaches the surface: at around 38-41°C, Borjomi water makes its way up, pushed by the pressure of naturally occurring carbon dioxide, and along the way, touches a composition of 60 minerals that can be found in the cracks of the underground volcanic rock layers.

It’s then naturally filtered from the glaciers that cover the peaks of the mountain top, until it eventually emerges both filtered and mineralised in the springs of the Borjomi gorge.

This entire process makes the water so enriched, it is especially used to aid metabolism as it’s high in bicarbonates (approximately 3500-5000 mg per liter), a component that specifically helps to balance and buffer acids in the body.

Ölfus, Iceland

Few countries have as great an abundance of groundwater as Iceland, whose location is often considered a very unusual one in terms of its location and geology. The parts of Iceland seen above ground are mostly made up entirely of volcanic rocks, usually covered under vast, icy glaciers that act as filters – making for some interesting and very pure water. 

The result is water so pure, you can drink it as you take a snorkel tour around the lake.  

The Ölfus Spring is one of those special waters, developing as the result of a 5,000-year process of water filtration.

Water comes from snowmelt and rainfall, then filters through layers of lava rock, creating a naturally alkaline water with superior purity, despite a low mineral composition. And with over 900,000 cubic meters of water overflowing from the spring into the ocean every day, the Olfus Spring is considered one of the largest in the world. 

There’s a similar level of purity in the Silfra fissure of Iceland. Here, water is fed and filtered from the Langjökull glacier, which flows through young lava rocks before it finally makes it way to the Thingvellir Lake at 2-4°C – a lake that lies in the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Thingvellir National Park. The result is water so pure, you can drink it as you take a snorkel tour around the lake.  

Gerolstein, Germany

There’s generally a strong affinity in German culture for mineral-rich water that’s naturally carbonated. And the region that has a particularly rich water terroir is in the volcanic-rich Eifel area of Germany: Gerolstein. 

Water passes through layers of a rock called dolomite […] making the water itself also calcium and magnesium-rich.

An especially unique geology, the Gerolstein region is known for its carbonic acid: water permeates the earth’s surface, making its ways deep underground as it absorbs carbonic acid from previous volcanic activity. And it’s because of this acid that the water is both naturally carbonated and able to strongly pick up special minerals along the way.

The water passes through layers of a rock called dolomite – a limestone rock naturally rich in calcium and magnesium, making the water itself also calcium and magnesium-rich, in addition to being naturally carbonated.

Scuol, Switzerland

Switzerland is known for its rivers, lakes and mountain streams, but what about tasting water from the Alps? In the remote Alpine region, Lower Engadin, there’s an abundance of mineral-rich water dotted around its rustic villages.

There are over 20 springs in these towns, almost all of which can be sampled.

Mineral springs here were so well-known for their therapeutic properties that 100 years ago, the towns Scuol, Tarasp and Vulpera were specifically made into spa towns. In fact in Scuol, a traditional drinking hall was created in 1840 for residents to drink a specifically prescribed mineral water. 

There are over 20 springs in these towns, almost all of which can be sampled at either the town fountains or along the natural mineral hiking trails, with some water coming out tinged with red due to being rich in iron.

Most of the spring water in this region takes about five years before it comes up to the surface, distinctly full of carbon dioxide, with some sodium or calcium carbonate minerals.

And there are even pure carbon dioxide springs bubbling away, often recognisable by the coloured minerals around their openings.

Years In The Making

From rainfall to groundwater to mineral, the mineral water journey is one that takes years and is continuously in progress. At Mitte, we constantly look to this journey, harnessing what we learn to sustainably recreate this process, using nature’s technology.

By Lauren Grant — Apr 9, 2020
The information contained in this article is provided for educational and informational purposes only, and should not be construed as health or nutritional advice.

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