The terroir is just as important for the water that’s served alongside the wine.
Oenophiles have long appreciated the importance of terroir in the creation of their favourite wines. The influence of climate, soil and topography imparts a unique, highly distinctive “sense of place” in grapes from different regions – even different parts of the same vineyard.
What many don’t realise is that terroir is just as important for the water that’s served alongside the wine. A water’s character will depend on the site of its source and the aquifer, the porous rock through which the water trickles.
In Auckland 80 per cent of our tap water comes from dams in the Hunua and Waitakere Ranges. Pour yourself a glass and you may be able to detect a hint of volcanic basalt, alluvial native forests and pines, with perhaps a dash of earthy sedimentation from the Waikato River.
The knowledge that terroir influences the taste of water is far from a radical new idea. The ancient Romans were as discerning about water as they were about wine, judging the water from each of their aqueducts by transparency and taste. They also imported “bottled” water at vast expense. Travellers between Florence and Bologna would refresh themselves at the Acqua Panna spring, renowned for the delicate purity of its water.
Centuries later, that spring is the source of Acqua Panna mineral water. Originating in the peaks of the Apennine Mountains, water filters into the ground on Monte Gazzaro. After travelling for 10 to 15 years through the Tuscan hills, it comes to the surface at an altitude of 900 metres, in a natural reserve filled with ancient forests of beech and chestnut trees. During its journey, water from the source is filtered and purified as it flows through sandstone deposits, while bicarbonates, calcium and phosphates are gradually added in equal amounts.
This unique terroir is reflected in Acqua Panna’s perfectly balanced, limpid, light-bodied taste and smooth, velvety mouth feel.