You might have heard about the business exercise: step into an elevator and you have 30 seconds or less to explain the message you want to bring across. What would it be for explaining terroir for fine water to your captive audience?
We drink it every day but we hardly think about where it comes from. And there is the challenge. Water is not just water. Water has terroir – a place of origin, a place of birth, a source where we pour it into the bottle.
And that’s where it gets interesting. Fine waters have a great story behind them. You not only learn about the water itself but you learn about a region in the world, a place of history and a deeper structure of what makes this water unique and special.
Once you know the story of a water, you will see it with a different perspective, trough different lenses. Take this true story.
The Italian Workshop
Last week I was sitting in a workshop in Rome, Italy. The meeting room structure is the usual suspect: U shaped meeting table with a name sign in front of it and a notepad. Nothing exciting, been there, done that. Next to the name tag is a bottle of water. Also not that unusual. The previous version of myself would pour some water over the term of the meetings into a glass, take a sip and watch another power point presentation (I know – sounds boring, but hang in there, it gets better).
The new version of me got excited about the bottle of Aqua Panna from Tuscany. I realized that this inspiration came from the Italian air I was breathing. I admired the new label with a big ‘1569’ on the top and the mineral content description at the back selling the new ‘ Tuscan Taste’ campaign.
My mind started to wonder. I transformed myself back to the 16th century to the only road connecting north and south Italy, I pictured myself as a traveler on the road for many days and stopping at an outpost. There was a spring and I quenched my thirst with cold, fresh tasting water. The name of the town reads Villa Panna. In the distance I see a colorful villa in all its glory.
Pictures of the Medici Family come to my mind. I picture the cold rain in the beautiful Tuscan country side pouring over Olive trees and rolling hills. I picture the rain travelling for 13 years through the soil and arriving at that fresh, cold spring to quench the first of tired travelers. My thoughts get interrupted as the speaker has finished his power point and I am being pulled back into the reality of the meeting.
This is the story of Aqua Panna, a spring water from Tuscany, Italy, one of the most widely available waters in the world.
Fine Waters around the world come with these stories, their landscape, their terroir. This was just one of them. There are thousands of springs around the world, each with their unique story. Some water traveled for a few years others are unlocked from 10,000 year old icebergs. We enrich our life by learning about these special and great tasting fine waters and we add another dimension to our life experience.
So next time you pick up a bottle of fine mineral water in the supermarket, do a little research and try to unlock the story behind the terroir of the water.