Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting
2020 Winners

Winners-1991-2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — FEBRUARY 22, 2020
Travel Berkeley Springs – Berkeley Springs, WV
Press contact only:  Jill Klein Rone  — 304-258-3302
PHOTOS AVAILABLE — Contact Jeanne Mozier — star@starwv.com

BIG WINS AT 30th ANNIVERSARY WATER TASTING IN BERKELEY SPRINGS

BERKELEY SPRINGS, WV —–

The Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting, the world’s most prestigious, gave out awards tonight to waters from three continents. Four continents had waters among 118 entered.

The municipal water category was a battle of California champions with the water judged best in the world for 2020 — Mission Springs Water District, Desert Hot Springs, CA – a multiple medal winner over the years and 4th place Santa Ana also a previous winner. The silver medal was won by Mackay, Queensland, Australia and the bronze by Ville de Senneterre, QC, Canada. Fifth place was Southwest Water Authority, ND.

“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 Bottled Water category winners were all new except last year’s gold medal winner Smeraldina Natural Artesian Water from Sardinia, Italy taking the silver this year. The world’s best bottled water in 2020 hailed from Japan along with the 4th and 5th place winners. The gold went to Hita no Homare Cosmo Water , Hita, Oita, Japan; 4th was Fuji no Hibiki Cosmo Water, Fuji, Shizuoka, Japan and 5th was Koto no Tennensui Cosmo Water, Kyoto, Japan. The 3rd place bronze was the only American water to win –Montana Artesian Water, Kalispell, MT.

The event proves valuable for bottled waters both carbonated and still. Waters use a win in Berkeley Springs for bragging rights and often redesign their labels to include the medal image. Ten entrants in the 2020 contest sported a medal decorated label.

The audience was filled with water enthusiasts coming from as far as Australia and world travelers who attend searching out new waters to taste. Twelve media judges spent hours tasting and selecting from waters sourced in 19 states, five Canadian provinces and sixteen foreign countries. “Our total of countries over the life of the event is 722 including waters from Tasmania, Turkey, Bosnia, Greece and Australia” said Jeanne Mozier, an event founder.

Sparkling water winners were sourced from three continents ranging from New Zealand to Grenada. The gold medal went to Voyage Spring Water, Putaruru, NZ. The silver was a tie between Antipodes Water, Otakiri, Whakatane, NZ and Mount Pure Sparkling Water, St. George’s, Grenada, West Indies. The bronze went to a previous winner, Mountain Valley Spring Water Sparkling, Hot Springs, AR. Another previous winner was Tesanjski Kiseljak, Tesanj, Bosnia in 4th place and 5th was Azuga, Voluntari, Ilfov, Romania.

Purified water was added as a category in 2001. Many purified waters are municipals bottling their water and that is true for our bronze winner, Hamilton on Tap which first entered the water tasting as a municipal, won and decided to begin bottling their winning water. The gold medal winner is Waterfy Me of Gaithersburg, MD. Silver is Lesage Water of Lesage, WV which won gold in the past and boasts the medal on its label. Rain Fresh Oxygen-Rich Purified Water of Garland, TX tied for 3rd place and Ophora Water, Santa Barbara, CA won 4th and is a two time previous medalist.

“It was another wonderful year for the longest running and largest water tasting in the world,” said von Wiesenberger. “Berkeley Springs is truly the Academy Awards of water.”  For his decades of service to the water industry, and to the water tasting, von Wiesenberger received the 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award. The award is sponsored by WaterExpo Guangzhou 2020 and Guangzhou Informa Yi Fan Exhibitions Co.LTD of China

The crowd was interested in two peoples’ choice categories where it was their votes that chose the winners. The packaging category had 11 entrants competing for most alluring. Svalbaroi Polar Iceberg Water from Longyearbyen, Norway won the gold for the fourth year in a row. Silver went to – Woter, Nelson, NZ. Third was King Island Cloud Juice, Surprise Bay, Tasmania and 4th was Pura Volcanic, Juan Castro Blanco National Park, Costa Rica, both first-time winners. Fifth is a repeat winner, Antipodes, Otakiri, Whakatane, NZ

Flavored Essence Sparkling Water was a new category in 2018 and the number of entrants doubled this year. The crowd’s favorite was Asarasi Sparkling Tree Cherry Lime from Katonah, NY. Second place was Canadian Gold Lemon Sparkling Water, Marchand, MB, Canada and 3rd was Mountain Valley Blackberry Pomegranate Sparkling Water. Hot Springs, AR.

Conclusion of the daylong water tasting is the famed “water rush” where the audience is invited to take home hundreds of bottles of water sent as part of the judging.  “I spent about six hours arranging all the waters in a display,” said Mozier.  “The crowd spent less than ten minutes making it all disappear. It’s like a Tibetan sand mandala,” she laughed.  “I was pleased to see our favorite couple from Brooklyn. Peter and Cynthia Lloyd were here for their 15th year especially for the water tasting – and the rush.”

The twelve media judges selected by Klein Rone included representatives from various regional and national media including television, newspapers and online magazines. They were instructed by von Wiesenberger to look, sniff and taste each water under guidelines similar to those in a wine tasting. The waters were rated for each attribute including appearance (it should be clear – or slightly opaque for glacial waters), aroma (there should be none), taste (it should taste clean), mouth feel (it should feel light), aftertaste (it should leave you thirsty for more). Waters were tasted in four separate flights over two days.

“The judges job is crucial and so is their training,” said Mozier. “We present all our judges with a diploma designating them as a Certified Water Taster.” Mozier also noted an exciting part of this year’s event – Business Insider Television spent three days filming, interviewing and absorbing the event. “The major shift in our event this year was the addition of voting by judges on tablets,” said Mozier. “Of course, we had paper back-up just in case.” The use of tablets speeded up the announcement of winners to being almost immediate after the judges finished.

The 31st annual Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting is scheduled for Saturday, February 27, 2021.  The event seminar on Friday and Saturday’s award ceremony were live streamed on the Berkeley Springs, WV Facebook page operated by the Morgan Arts Council’s Digital Media Center. For more information on Berkeley Springs or its water tasting, call 1-800-447-8797 or check the website.

Best Municipal Water 2020
Best in the World – Mission Springs Water District, Desert Hot Springs, CA
2nd – Mackay, Queensland, Australia
3rd – Ville de Senneterre, QC, Canada
4th — Santa Ana, CA
5th – Southwest Water Authority, ND

Best Bottled Water  2020
1st – Hita no Homare Cosmo Water , Hita, Oita, Japan
2nd — Smeraldina Natural Artesian Water, Sardinia, Italy
3rd – Montana Artisian Water, Kalispell, MT
4th – Fuji no Hibiki Cosmo Water, Fuji, Shizuoka, Japan
5th – Koto no Tennensui Cosmo Water, Kyoto, Japan

Best Sparkling – 2020
1st – Voyage Spring Water, Putaruru, NZ
2nd tie – Antipodes Water, Otakiri, Whakatane, NZ
Mount Pure Sparkling Water, St. George’s, Grenada, West Indies
3rd – Mountain Valley Spring Water Sparkling, Hot Springs, AR
4th — Tesanjski Kiseljak, Tesanj, Bosnia
5th – Azuga, Voluntari, Ilfov, Romania

Best Purified Drinking Water – 2020
1st – Waterfy Me – Gaithersburg, MD
2nd – Lesage Water, Lesage, WV
3rd tie – Rain Fresh Oxygen-Rich Purified Water, Garland, TX bronze
Hamilton on Tap, Hamilton, OH
4th — Ophora Water, Santa Barbara, CA

People’s Choice– 2020
Best Packaging
1st – Svalbaroi Polar Iceberg Water, Longyearbyen, Norway
2nd – Woter, Nelson, NZ
3rd – King Island Cloud Juice, Surprise Bay, Tasmania
4th – Pura Volcanic, Juan Castro Blanco National Park, Costa Rica
5th – Antipodes, Otakiri, Whakatane, NZ

Best Flavored Essence Sparkling
1st – Asarasi Sparkling Tree Cherry Lime, Katonah, NY
2nd — Canadian Gold Lemon Sparkling Water, Marchand, MB, Canada
3rd — Mountain Valley Blackberry Pomegranate Sparkling Water. Hot Springs, AR

Winners91-2019