First International Fine Water Tasting Competition in China with renowned water sommeliers

Here are the winners for Gold, Silver and Bronze.


FineWaters ( and the Fine Water Society in collaboration with the WaterExop Guangzhou (Canton Fair Complex) conducted the first International Fine Water Tasting Competition in Guangzhou, China on 29th of June. In modern commerce Guangzhou (romanised Canton), is best known for its annual Canton Fair the oldest, highest-level, largest trade fair in China. For three consecutive years 2013–2015, Forbes ranked Guangzhou as the best commercial city on the Chinese mainland.

Due to large scale contamination and a general distrust of municipal water sources, bottled water has become very important in China and the trend of Premium Waters shows a strong and consistent grow in China. The trend is supported by the rise of a middle class with an international taste.

We have seen in the past many attempts to conduct water tastings but none have risen to a standard that represent the category of Fine Bottled Water. Water like wine deserves attention and the water tasting conducted in Guangzhou puts water on the same level as wine with a 5 judge professional panel consisting of international water sommeliers, meeting for the first time at the tasting.

Horacio Bustos (Argentina), Sommelier at the Buenos Aires Winemakers Center with degree in wine, tea and water.

Dr. Jae Youn Ko (South Korea), Professor, Food Service Management Dept. Hotel &Tourism College, Kyung-Hee University, Seoul Korea.

Dr. Michael Mascha (USA/Austria), Creator and publisher of FineWaters, a web site portal that is the definitive voice for water connoisseurs

Martin Riese (USA/Germany), Water Sommelier at Patina Restaurant Group in Los Angeles, and one of the world’s foremost water sommelier.

John Zhu (China/Australia), Has been working with premium water since 2008 and has been the Co-Founder and CMO of Purelogica.

Fine Water is not just water. It has terroir, comes from a real place and has character. Representing the Fine Water Category FineWaters and the Fine Water Society developed the blueprint for conducting water tastings that will be become the future professional standard and only tastings adop[ting the standard will be sanctioned bt the Fine Water Society..

STILL waters a separated into categories according to the Minerality (TDS – Total Dissolved Solids) starting at a SUPER LOW Category (<50mg/l) usually consisting of Iceberg, rain or glacial waters. The LOW Category (< 250mg/l) holds usually the most waters from sources like springs and artesian. For waters with a higher Minerality are the MEDIDUM CATEGORY (<800mg/l) and the HIGH CATEGORY (> 800 mg/l)

SPARKLING waters are represented by the ADDED CARBONATION Category for waters with have artificially added carbonation, most sparkling waters are in this category. The waters in the NATURALLY CARBONATED Category are rare and few people are actually aware that there are waters with naturally occurring carbonation.

With Fine Waters the bottle design represents the brand and connects the consumer emotionally to the source of the water. The bottle is an important aspect of a story told in PET or GLASS and awards are given in each Category for the design.

Around 70 Waters participated in the tasting competition in 2016 and the winners of the Fine Water Society TASTE AWARDS and DESIGN AWARDS are:



STILL Category

Super Low Minerality ( < 50mg/l)

GOLD - Ice Swan (Chile) & Svalbardi (Norway)

SILVER - Iceland Springs

BRONZE - Veen (Finland)


Low Minerality (< 250 mg/l)

GOLD - Antipodes (New Zealand) & Hawaiian Springs (USA)

SILVER - Clear Alascan Glacial (USA)

BRONZE - Aqua Pacific (Fiji)


Medium Minerality (< 800mg/l)

GOLD - Iskilde (Denmark)

SILVER - Ustronianka (Poland)

BRONZE - 383 Kopjary Water



Added Carbonation

GOLD - Cisovianka Perlage (Poland) & Sole (Italy)

SILVER - Lurisia (Italy)

BRONZE - 22 Artesian


Natural Carbonation

GOLD - ORO (Macedonia)

SILVER - Guitig (Ecuador)

BRONZE - ROI (Slovenia)



GLASS Category

GOLD - ROI (Slovenia)

SILVER - Svalbardi (Norway)

BRONZE - Guitig (Ecuador)

PET Category

GOLD - Jackson Springs

SILVER - Serra da Graciosa (Brazil)




FineWaters (

FineWaters represents the Fine Water category, educating the consumers and the media and F&B professionals about water not just being water.


Fine Water Society

The Fine Water Society was founded in 2008 to create a global forum and to further enhance the visibility of Fine Water and convey the idea that water is not just water but a natural product with terroir and unique characteristics. All Fine Waters are Premium Waters but not all Premium Water is Fine Water and membership is per invitation or nomination only.



Michael Mascha : mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Martin Riese:  mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



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