When you open a bottle of Aqua Pacific from Fiji today you drink the rain water that fell around 450 years ago at the time Balboa discovered the Pacific. Carbon dating tells that the what we drink today from a bottle of Aqua Pacific is rain that fell more than 450 years ago, and it has been percolating ever since through layers of silica, basalt and sandstone.
In 1513 Vasco Núñez de Balboa set out with a small party of 67 to cross the mountains in the center of the Panama peninsula. On the morning of September 25, 1513, Balboa climbed a peak and became the first European to look out on what would become the eastern shore of the Pacific Ocean (it was named by Ferdinand Magellan during his expedition around the world several years later). Building a pile of stones and a cross, they knelt and sang a Catholic hymn of Thanksgiving. Then they marched to the shore and formally took possession of the ocean in the name of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain. Many Islands of the central Pacific would not be discovered for centuries, and Captain Cook’s famous voyages were still 255 years in the future.
Around the time Balboa saw the Pacific some rain fell on Viti Levu the main island of the Fiji group. From the mountain peaks, the rain water followed gravity on a long journey to the aquifer. Here it remained confined in a sealed chamber that protected the water from all outside influence for centuries.
As far as the age of water goes we have a wide variety of choices.
In Tasmania, Duncan McFie the founder of Cloud Juice discovered that many friends were coming to his house to collect rain water from the tank. He knew that King Island had the cleanest air in the world. The rain bottled in Cloud Juice is formed over one of the largest, unspoilt expanses of water in the world - the Great Southern Ocean.
In Hawaii, Hawaiian Springs Natural Artesian Water is rain that fell in that tropical paradise a little more than 30 days ago. The rain water then filters through 13,000 feet of lava, on its way to the naturally flowing artesian well called Kea'au (which means clear, pure spring water) at the foot of Mauna Loa, one of the two largest volcanoes on Big Island. The short duration in the ground guarantees "young water" that has a low TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) of 91 mg/l.
In Sweden - Malmberg Original mineral water comes from an artesian spring of prehistoric water in Yngsjö, a small village on the coast of southeast Sweden. The age of our Malmberg mineral water has been determined to be 5245 +-75 years.
In Canada/North Atlantic - Berg iceberg water is a unique soft water with a super low mineral content. This water’s journey started over 15,000 years ago in the ancient glaciers of western Greenland.
So does age matter? Is young or old water better?
None of the above. Unlike wine that needs time to smooth out tannin structure the age of the water does not indicate quality or better taste. What is important is the treatment and care the water receives during the bottling process. In general the less the water is handled the more it expresses its history and unique "terroir".
We should pay attention to the age of the water we are drinking and enjoy the subtle differences in water from different ages as the story of the water can significantly contribute to the overall epicurean experience.