Water sommeliers on excursion

The 1st day of the annual meeting 2023 of the Wassersommelier Union e.V. was highlighted by an excursion to PET to PET and further to Bad Vöslau to the Vöslauer Mineralbrunnen. Many heartfelt thanks to the hosts!

PET to PET – PET recycling at the highest level

The starting point of the annual meeting was a visit to PET to PET Recycling Österreich GmbH – a company belonging to the Coca-Cola HBC Austria, Egger Getränke GmbH & Co OG , Rauch Fruchtsäfte, Spitz and Vöslauer Mineralwasser groups. At the PET to PET site in Müllendorf, 1.3 billion PET bottles or more than 33,000 tons of PET material are recycled annually. Managing Director Dipl. Ing. Christian Strasser vividly explained the cleaning and recycling processes of the flakes produced from the bottles through to the granulates in high food-grade quality. On average, new PET bottles in Austria today contain at least 30-40% recyclate (with an upward trend).

Vöslauer mineral water – originally pure and valuable

A visit to a mineral spring is, of course, a must at the WSU annual meeting. It is therefore a perfect coincidence that Vöslauer Mineralwasser GmbH, the clear number one on the Austrian mineral water market, is not far from Vienna. Managing Director Herbert Schlossnikl and Daniela Kornberger, Head of Quality Assurance / Quality Management and Doemens Wassersommelière welcomed the group and guided them through the modern company. For Vöslauer, sustainable, resource-saving production is an important corporate responsibility. Already today, all Vöslauer PET disposable bottles are made of 100% rePET. The remaining assortment is reusable, the share of which is being steadily increased – the goal is to double this to 40% by 2030. Vöslauer is also the only mineral water company in Austria to offer a returnable PET bottle. This is also a sign of sustainability and innovative spirit!

Bad Vöslau – a spa with history and many stories.

Not far from the mineral water plant is the Vöslau thermal spa – with its centerpiece, the historic cabanas, where you can stay in summer or all year round. The star of the spa is the (mineral) water; after all, this is where Vöslauer’s original spring originates. Visitors to the thermal spa can even swim in this mineral water from a depth of 660 meters. So every jump into the cool water becomes a real pleasure – in four beautiful pools, each with its own unique charm.

Rights to the images: Wassersommelier Union e.V.

Thank you so much for the great behind the scenes insights!!!

We would also like to thank our member Long Luna Lin-Maurer, who accompanied our annual meeting in Vienna and entertained the participants with her great knowledge of history and water! Through her contacts we were also able to find a bus company in Vienna, which planted a tree for each participant who took a seat on the bus. The bus was fully booked! Great!

More Information: https://www.askluna.at/

2022: 11 years Wassersommelier Union e.V.

The first day of our meeting started eventfully with a tour of the “Wasmeier Museum”. In this privately-run museum, former ski racer Markus Wasmeier brings rural life of the early 18th century to life. This historical Bavarian village consists of more than ten buildings, some of which are listed, and thanks to the many lovingly assembled exhibits, rural life of past centuries can be experienced in a very authentic way.
In our increasingly modernised and digitalised world, more simple times can easily be forgotten. With a guided herbals tour and two tours of the museum, we learned a lot (again) and took some new ideas away with us. Basking in glorious sunshine, surrounded by mountain panoramas and autumnal tree scenery, we enjoyed cake and coffee (and beer) in the beer garden, surrounded by free-range chickens and geese.

This was followed by a guided tour and tasting at the Whisky Distillery “SLYRS”. It was interesting to learn that Upper Bavarian whisky pioneers are so very committed to their craft. Day after day, they create high-quality whisky compositions in their distillery, with a lot of passion and know-how, innovative spirit and Bavarian charm. During the guided tour, we were able to experience and taste SLYRS Bavarian Single Malt Whisky, tour the production facilities and, of course, enjoy the unique taste of SLYRS specialities.

The second day was all about natural mineral water. The 50 participants of this year’s meeting came from Austria, Switzerland, France, Portugal, Romania, Latvia, Taiwan, India, Singapore, USA, the Czech Republic and Germany, among others, and put their sensory skills to the test. For this year’s Mineral Water Celebration Day, Peter Schropp’s focus was on the Association’s sustaining members, who have remained loyal to and supported the association for many years. The majority of the sustaining members of the Wassersommelier Union e.V. are, incidentally, mineral water companies that market high-quality products of different origins, mineralisation and carbonation. Their mineral, curative and spring waters were presented in detail during Mineral Water Celebration Day, and were well received by all participants.

With donated waters from our sustaining members, a competition was also held at the end of the Mineral Water Celebration Day to crown the “Mineral Water Sensory Expert 2022”. The mineral water day ended with three exciting lectures, which also included brief tastings.

A heartfelt thank you to Peter Schropp for 11 years of tireless voluntary commitment to the association!

WSU Taiwan Group on field trip

The WSU Taiwan Group organized a one-day field trip for its member sommeliers to various water sights in December last year: Museum of Drinking Water, Guanyinshan Reservoir (an underground water reservoir with Greek-style columns) and Caoshan Water Pipeline System (a water supply system). Thanks to Howard and Yvonne!

Qualitätsgemeinschaft Bio-Mineralwasser e.V. informs

The Qualitätsgemeinschaft Bio-Mineralwasser e.V. has published the new overview study on the condition of ground and drinking water – called Schwarzbuch Wasser Part III. After Parts I+II published in 2017 and 2018, this time the focus is on the international dimension of the “invisible water crisis”. In addition, however, current data from Germany will also be evaluated, showing the sharp increase in residues from decomposition products of pesticides and nitrate, especially in recent years. More information can be found on the website: https://www.bio-mineralwasser.de/presse/downloads


WSU-Representatives in Greater China Region

In order to be able to better manage the organizational administrative effort of new members abroad and in particular language barriers, “WSU representatives” were appointed in May 2020. Thus, a big step forward could be made towards the internationalization of the association. Our Mandarin-speaking members from China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan can look forward to!

Many thanks to Yvonne and Howard for their voluntary support and commitment!

7th annual meeting and the 3rd Mineral Water Celebration Day

3rd Mineral Water Celebration Day kicks off the annual meeting.

For the third time, the annual Mineral Water Celebration Day of the Wassersommelier Union was held. The event is an ideal professional development opportunity for those who are interested in mineral water, especially for all water sommeliers/sommelières, who want to refresh and deepen their knowledge. Various mineral water themes were addressed at Mineralbrunnen Teinach GmbH, prepared and organized by the two heads of the water sommelier training at Doemens, Nicola Buchner and Dr. Peter Schropp. Professional mineral water analysis, the influence of water on the sensory analysis of whiskey, tips from the wine industry for the marketing of mineral waters and optimal food pairing of cheese and mineral water were among the presentation topics. With a total of 40 participants, almost half of all certified water sommeliers were on site, enabling the participants to expand their knowledge and skills.

Annual General Meeting of the Water Sommelier Union e.V.

The annual general meeting took place on the second day of the event, serving as a platform for the exchange of ideas and experiences with other members. The AGM is an integral part of life in the WSU association. In addition to a summary of last year’s activities, the focus was on future business.
This year, the increasingly international importance of the Water Sommelier Union became clear to those present, as the English-language courses offered by Doemens Academy have meanwhile attracted members from Spain, Poland, the USA and Romania. Thus, for the first time, a section of the program this year was presented in English. In the coming years, German as well as English language presentations will become the standard at our annual meetings.

A big thank you to Irina Zimmermann from Teinacher Springs for this year’s organization. The next annual meeting will take place from the 21st to the 23rd of September, 2018 in Bressanone.