There's a fine art about how Italian mineral water reaches your table.

Some could say natural Italian mineral water is a bit like a mortgage – it takes 30 years before it’s truly yours.

But anything that take three decades to mature and come to fruition must be something worth waiting for. And in the case of a cold bottle of mineral water, there’s a freshness about the taste that is hard to beat, even if you’re blissfully unaware of how far that water has travelled before reaching you.

Two of Australia’s leading imported natural Italian mineral waters – S.Pellegrino and Santa Vittoria – both trace their product back to the Italian Alps near the town of Bergamo in northern Italy. The mountains rise to an elevation of 3,343 metres above sea level and enjoy plentiful snow and rainfall, with that outflow slowly trickling its way and finally arriving at its source at the foothills of the mountains, 350 metres above sea level.

The Dolomites Mountains in Northern Italy.

That rain is where the mineral water journey begins. The area has been known since the Middle Ages for the health benefits of its water. For S.Pellegrino, as the water moves on its three-decade journey, the physical and chemical composition naturally changes, absorbing minerals as it travels through the limestone mountains towards its outflow. This magnesium, calcium, salts, natural sulphates and other minerals mix and travel all the way down into three deep springs in the little Italian village of Val Brembana where it is lightly carbonated prior to bottling.

Santa Vittoria is heavily involved in carbon neutral campaigns around the world.

Depending on where the water emerges, it can have distinctive differences in its taste. S.Pellegrino says it is committed to safeguarding water resources as an active member of the Alliance for Water Stewardship, with a certified sustainable plant opening in 2022 tipped to become a local tourist attraction.

This certification involves participation in the sustainable management of local water resources in order to guarantee the quantity of water used doesn’t exceed the source’s natural capacity for refilling.

Santa Vittoria sources its water in a similar way, with the product then imported to Australia and distributed by the third-generation Cantarella Brothers family business. As an importer, Santa Vittoria has invested heavily in its supply and distribution chains in order to complement the purity and quality of the final product.

The company works as a Platinum Partner of the ‘Carbon Neutral Movement’ and offsets emissions generated through its importations by contributing to programs to plant new trees. In two decades, the Carbon Neutral Movement campaign is approaching 30 million new trees planted. More than 46,000 tonnes of carbon emissions have been offset through Vittoria’s participation in this program.

S.Pellegrino will soon be opening a new bottling plant that it says will become a tourist attraction.

“We strive to provide our clients the purest mineral waters available but we also care about the planet’s wellbeing,” says Vittoria Brand Manager, Joshua Passaro.

“We aim to deliver Santa Vittoria from the source in Northern Italy to consumers with as little environmental impact as possible. We do this by offsetting the carbon emissions generated from the importation of Santa Vittoria mineral water into Australia and New Zealand.

“We believe this commitment is a significant step towards a more sustainable future and partnering with a recognised organisation such as Carbon Neutral adds another level of integrity to our environmental actions.”