Agua de Vilajuïga
Agua de Vilajuïga

Welcome to Vilajuïga where, in the heart of Catalonia’s Cap de Creus Natural Park, we bottle one of the world’s finest naturally sparkling mineral waters. The extraordinary, full-bodied, creamy taste and very delicate ‘aguja’ (needle point) bubbles make it the perfect complement to fine food and wines. We Catalans are justifiably proud of our history, language, cuisine and traditions: traditions which, since 1904, include Aigua de Vilajuïga. We’re also very proud that Vilajuïga was the favourite mineral water of the great surrealist painter Salvador Dalí; was his distinctive style due to ‘something in the water’, perhaps?

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The History

The Aigua de Vilajuïga Company, pronounced ‘Ay-g-wa de Vila-jew-ee-ga’ was founded in 1904 by six local families who built a beautiful pavilion to house the source, and planted a delightful garden which became a popular attraction for visitors who came to drink the water.

Vilajuïga’s fame spread far and wide, thanks to its exceptional taste and quality. In 1910 the famous Italian artist Leonetto Cappiello designed a striking advertising poster which helped to establish Vilajuïga’s reputation and today remains a highly sought after collector’s item. Vilajuïga was also one of the first companies to support early motor-racing and sponsored the first Tour of Catalonia Motor Race in 1917.

Export sales grew strongly and Vilajuïga was shipped to the Americas and served in the restaurant cars of Europe’s leading railways companies, including the SNCF and Wagons Lits. In 1929 Vilajuïga was awarded a Gold Medal at the Barcelona Universal Exhibition.

In his ‘Travels in Old Catalonia’, published in 1942, the famous Catalan writer Josep Pla was so impressed by our water that he wrote: “In Vilajuïga there are magnificent waters, considered to be the best for kidneys in Europe”.

Standing proudly above the village of Vilajuïga are the remains of the castle of Quermanço, built in the 10th century and to which we duly pay homage with the castle symbol on every bottle of Vilajuïga. Salvador Dalí dreamed of building a wind organ in the castle, which would be played by the fierce Tramontana wind. Who knows, perhaps one day his dream will come true and we’ll be able to enjoy music made by the north wind.

Advertising poster by Italian designer Leonetto Cappiello, published in 1912.

Advertising poster by Italian designer Leonetto Cappiello, published in 1912.

Extracts from the first analysis of Aigua de Vilajuïga by Dr. B. Oliver y Rodés, published 1903.

Extracts from the first analysis of Aigua de Vilajuïga by Dr. B. Oliver y Rodés, published 1903.

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The Source

Our source is located in the village of Vilajuïga in the Alt Empordà region of Catalonia and surrounded by the beautiful Cap de Creus Natural Park, where the Pyrenees mountains dive into the Mediterranean Sea. The climate here is much influenced by the strong northerly Tramontana wind, which is responsible for the dramatic landscape, with rock formations eroded and distorted by centuries of wind and rain.

The water is sourced from a deep aquifer 200m below Vilajuïga, whose positive pressure eliminates any possible contamination. The natural sparkle and precious minerals are the result of a 30-year journey that begins when rain falls on the surrounding hills of the Cap de Creus Natural Park. The water passes through the subsoil where it is purified and absorbs precious minerals including magnesium, calcium and the bicarbonates that gives it its natural ‘aguja’ effervescent sparkle. Vilajuïga’s bubbles really are a gift of nature!

View of the Aigua de Vilajuïga source and gardens.

View of the Aigua de Vilajuïga source and gardens.

Carrer De Les Aiguës (Water Road, Vilajuïga Village).

Carrer De Les Aiguës (Water Road, Vilajuïga Village).

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The Water

So, what is it that makes Vilajuïga so unique? Following the discovery of the Vilajuïga source in 1903, the famous chemist Dr B. Oliver y Rodés performed the first analysis of the water and concluded:

1. “Vilajuïga’s waters are natural medicinal waters”.
2.“The stable terrain around the source, the consistent temperature of the water when it surges and the nature of the minerals it contains, make this a stable water that can be transported and consumed far from the spring without being affected by the changes that can be observed in other waters”.
3.“The consistency of temperature (16ºC) and water flow ensure a high degree of purity”.
4.“Due to its physical and organoleptic characteristics, as well as by the lack of organic matter and its derivatives and complete lack of microorganisms, it is suitable to be consumed in large quantities and is an excellent table water”.
5.“Thanks to its chemical composition and the presence of bicarbonates and sodium chloride its effects are well defined”.
6.“Recommended for stomach, liver, spleen, pancreas as well as genitourinary tract infections and chronic skin diseases [sic]”.
7.“Healthy individuals, especially those tired of the big cities, can use this water indefinitely for regular drinking, or unless your doctor expressly prohibits it [sic]”.
8.“These waters are primarily to be taken as a beverage but they can also be used for gargling, sipping, mixing and for injections, etc”.

After all these years we really don’t think anybody has more candidly described the unique qualities of Vilajuïga.

# Cap de Creus Natural Park.

Cap de Creus Natural Park.

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The Bubbles

The natural bubbles of Vilajuïga are finer and more numerous than in waters with added carbon dioxide (CO2). This makes our water more delicate to the palate and gives it its characteristic taste.

Michael Mascha, author of FINE WATERS: A Connoisseur’s Guide to the World’s Most Distinctive Bottled Waters explains why Vilajuïga’s ‘aguja’ bubbles make it so special:

“Certain rare geological conditions can produce naturally carbonated water; often the carbonation can be attributed to volcanic activity. Carbonation occurs when carbon dioxide is dissolved in water, creating the effervescence that characterises these waters. Naturally carbonated waters are rare and have historically been highly sought after for their supposed curative properties”.

“Effervescent waters are an epicurean surprise to many. These sophisticated waters, with the smallest possible bubbles, straddle the line between still and light sparkling waters.”

“Drinking a water that is almost flat but has a hint of carbonation (and thus a hint of mouthfeel) offers a new sensation to many people”.

# The Quermançó Castle located 2km north of the Village of Vilajuïga.

The Quermançó Castle located 2km north of the Village of Vilajuïga.

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The Taste#

Not all waters are the same! Vilajuïga’s subtle taste and terroir are determined by the minerals it contains. The local geological strata imparts different minerals and it is these which give Vilajuïga its unique characteristics.

Mineral composition (mg/L):

Dry Residue at 180º C:
Bicarbonate:
Chloride:
Fluoride:
Calcium:
Magnesium:
Sodium:
Potassium:
Strontium:
Lithium:
Silica:
Sulphate:

1,946
1,790
257
2.7
85.3
44.1
591.0
28.0
0.90
0.98
39.9
8.8

Water sommelier Steve Rowe writes in his tasting notes; “Vilajuïga is full-bodied, with a fresh, creamy mouthfeel and fine bubbles which leave a sweetly soft after-taste”.

To really experience Vilajuïga at its best we suggest you serve Vilajuïga at a temperature of 15ºC, and ideally in a fine, crystal glass.

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The Gastronomy

Food: Vilajuïga is the perfect accompaniment to fine foods. In fact, we’re proud to say that Vilajuïga was served at elBulli, the legendary restaurant voted the world’s best restaurant a record five times and situated near Roses, just a stone’s throw from the Vilajuïga source. The founder of elBulli, Ferran Adria, whose genius in the kitchen is often likened to that of Salvador Dalí, takes his ingredients very seriously - including our mineral water!

But Vilajuïga isn’t only intended to accompany avant-garde cuisine! We especially enjoy Vilajuïga with classic Catalan dishes such as: Roast Lamb with 12 Heads of Garlic (Xai Rostit amb 12 Cabeçes d’All) or Stuffed Pigs’ Feet with Wild Mushrooms (Peus de Porc Farcits amb Bolets). The delicate bubbles are a great match with a Catalan salad like Marinated Hake Salad with Caviar (Esqueixada de Lluç amb Caviar); and for dessert, why not pair with a wonderful mature cheese like Serrat from the Catalan Pyrennes.

Wine: Vilajuïga really can add to the enjoyment of fine wines. Vilajuïga’s effervescent bubbles help to gently clean the palate, allowing the taste buds to appreciate the subtle complexities of a great wine - especially a splendid red wine from Vilajuïga’s homeland, the Empordà.

Bread: Pan de Vilajuïga (Vilajuïga Bread). In Catalonia there is a long tradition of baking bread using carbonated water. By adding a glass of Aigüa de Vilajuïga to the mix you can create a delightfully crunchy texture with a rich and intense flavour. If you’d like to try baking it yourself, here’s the recipe:

- 250ml of Aigua de Vilajuïga
- 480 grams of flour
- 1 pack of baking yeast
- 2 teaspoons of virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of brown sugar
- 1 and half teaspoons of salt

Salvador Dali’s favourite three cornered bread

Salvador Dali’s favourite three cornered bread.

Pairing Aigua de Vilajuïga with wines.

Pairing Aigua de Vilajuïga with wines.

Catalan cuttlefish stew with pinenuts.

Catalan cuttlefish stew with pinenuts.

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Salvador Dalí & VilajuïgaSalvador Dalí & Vilajuïga

Aigua de Vilajuïga was Salvador Dalí’s favourite mineral water and the moustache motif on every bottle of Vilajuïga pays homage to the great man. Vilajuïga is situated in the famous Dalí Triangle that connects the Teatre-Museu Dalí in Figueres with the Castell Gala Dalí in Púbol, and the Casa-Museu Salvador Dalí in Port Lligat near Cadaques. Vilajuïga’s links to Salvador Dalí are many; the artist was even born in Figueres in 1904, the very same year that Aigua de Vilajuïga was founded.

A Director of Aigües Minerals de Vilajuïga, grandson of one of the founders of the company, remembers: "Salvador Dalí always spent his summers at his house in Port Lligat, not far from Vilajuïga. As soon as he arrived from Paris, we started to receive orders of Vilajuïga water. It was shipped to Cadaqués by a local transport company, and from there would be carried on a cart pulled by a donkey on the track to Port Lligat, as a special delivery for the great man".

In an article published in 1977, the journalist Emil Casademont describes dining with Salvador Dalí at the Hotel Duran in Figueres. “On several occasions I had the honour of dining with Salvador Dalí, always at the Hotel Duran in Figueres - at his private table in the Celler de Ca la Teta. He never drank wine; only water. But it wasn’t just any old water that Dali drank, far from it. The ‘Genius from Port Lligat’ knew exactly what to choose and thus he drank Aigua de Vilajuïga, which he explained had a delightful taste and was long famed for its medicinal properties. For Dalí, Aigua de Vilajuïga was unique”.

Sketch by Salvador Dalí, given to his friend Luís Duran, owner of Dali’s favourite restaurant,the Hotel Duran, Figueres.

Sketch by Salvador Dalí, given to his friend Luís Duran, owner of Dali’s favourite restaurant,the Hotel Duran, Figueres.

Salvador Dalí drinking Aigua de Vilajuïga at his home in Cadaques.

Salvador Dalí drinking Aigua de Vilajuïga at his home in Cadaques.

Original Aigua de Vilajuïga glass bottles, circa 1920.

Original Aigua de Vilajuïga glass bottles, circa 1920.

Early Aigua de Vilajuïga advertising poster, 1914.

Early Aigua de Vilajuïga advertising poster, 1914.

# ## The FINE WATER SOCIETY #
The FINE WATER SOCIETY

Aigua de Vilajuïga is a proud member of the Fine Water Society and we support the Society’s Fine Water Charter:

Fine Waters are special, they reflect their source’s terroir and origin and it makes these waters unique.

A Fine Water comes from a single, well defined source.

A Fine Water has no higher aim than to transport the experience of “drinking water at the source” to wherever the consumer chooses to open the bottle.

Fine Waters are natural products, bottled in sustainable symbiosis with the natural and social environment surrounding the source and feeding area.

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We’re very proud of our water and we’d very much like you to experience its extraordinary refreshing taste and texture. To sample the unique purity of Vilajuïga contact us at: