Bled Water Festival establishes first European Water Sommelier Association

Bled Water Festival first European Water Sommelier Association

Photo: Suju-foto from Pixabay


May 14, 2021



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May 14, 2021



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Organizers of the annual Bled Water Festival (BWF) in Slovenia expanded the scope of their activities by establishing the European Water Sommelier Association or EWSA. Water sommeliers are trained to determine the quality of water by taste.

The platform for solutions and innovations in the area of protecting and preserving water sources has been upgraded with an additional focus on the assessment of the quality of both bottled and tap water, Bled Water Festival revealed. It founded the European Water Sommelier Association – EWSA, the first of its kind on the continent.

A sommelier is a wine expert who can identify the brand just by tasting it. Professionals in the sector, also called wine stewards, describe the flavors and taste to restaurant guests and advise them on the match for a dish. Water sommeliers emerged recently, with the increase in demand for bottled water and the development of the industry.

Even though Slovenia is among Europe’s smaller countries, it is one of the richest in the number of water sources, according to Bled Water Festival’s head Marko Gajić. Let us not forget that in 2016 Slovenian Parliament also declared drinking water a basic human right in the constitution.

Bled Water Festival European Water Sommelier Association

Water quality elevated to new heights

EWSA will provide training and certification of water sommeliers and help popularize serving water of the highest quality in restaurants – be it bottled or tap water. The association also aims to raise public awareness of water’s effects on people, the importance of the quality of drinking water and the connection between water and gastronomy, BWF said.

Water sommeliers have a role in detecting issues in water supply or treatment

“The world needs water sommeliers. These guides are qualified professionals who know water well – its taste and properties. Their expertise also enables them to identify possible issues in water supply or water treatment,” Gajić stated. Slovenia has three water sommeliers trained by the Korean International Sommelier Association (KISA) with whom Bled Water Festival concluded a partnership at its event, and from there the story is now spreading to Europe.

“Numerous European countries were invited to actively take part in searching for innovative solutions in the water sector. Nine countries have already joined the project, and another four expressed their interest to participate. The Water Europe organization also gave its support to the Bled Water Festival this year, and is actively involved in our work,” Gajić said.

Do not miss 2021 Bled Water Festival

This year’s Bled Water Festival will be held on June 10 and 11. Due to travel and health restrictions in the European Union, it will be a hybrid event, taking place by Lake Bled and streamed live.

Applications for BWF’s Responsible Towards Water Awards are open until May 31

Challenges and current issues in the aquatic environment will be presented at the meetings of international organizations, entrepreneurs, representatives of national authorities, experts, activists and investors. The event will also highlight how water impacts people and new global trends and will provide examples of good practice. The main topics will address health and water and the sustainable development of water management systems.

“We will present and upgrade innovative and sustainable solutions for preserving the aquatic environment and water sources, and present a new water sommelier program,” the announcement adds.

The 2021 international call for water innovations is open until May 31. The Responsible Towards Water Awards competition is open to governments, the private sector, experts, and civil society.

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