To cite the legend of Borjomi, one of the most famous mineral waters in the world first demonstrated its rejuvenating powers to a wounded deer in the Caucasian pine forests of Georgia. A hunter observing the animal’s wondrous recovery then tried the water himself; feeling revived and invigorated, he rushed home to tell of his wondrous discovery. Archaeological finds show that the mineral spring has been used for around a thousand years, its story of success really only taking off in the middle of the 19th century. At a time when spa tourism was flourishing all over Europe, the little town of Borjomi developed into an opulent spa resort where Russian aristocrats and well-heeled Persians and Azerbaijanis had splendid palaces and villas erected. Famous guests such as Tchaikovsky, Tolstoy and Stalin sought relaxation and recreation in the town, as did many families with children up into the 1980s and 1990s.

Borjomi’s curative water has been filled into glass bottles here since 1890 – in not immodest quantities of ten to twelve million bottles per annum even in the early days. In 1969 a new bottling shop replaced the historic facility that now serves as a museum. In the 1980s the modern setup notched up annual sales of around 400 million bottles. The beverage named after the city on the Kura River is synonymous with mineral water throughout the entire region, highly popular for its extremely mineral and slightly salty taste. Naturally fortified with carbon dioxide from a spring that bubbles out of the rock at a constant temperature of between 37 and 41°C, over 60 different minerals and other natural ingredients make this water unique. Closely monitored by geologists and physicists for more than 170 years, well over 100 studies and analyses confirm its constantly high quality and unchanged physical and chemical properties: thanks to the potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, chlorine, hydrocarbons and a high level of alkalinity it contains, the water scores by “renewing, revitalizing and rejuvenating body, mind and soul”, as the company website claims.

Borjomi also holds emotional appeal in several different respects. Better known than any other home brand in Georgia, over the decades it has developed to not only become the unrivaled market leader but also an icon that endows a sense of identity. Beyond the national borders this water from the Caucasus acts as a figurehead, constituting a large proportion of the country’s entire export volume. Finally, the name “Borjomi” is inextricably linked to the proverbial hospitality that’s always shown here in this land between the mountains and the coast of the Black Sea. “In everything we do we want to celebrate our own history and the rich cultural heritage of Georgia,” states Ivane Matchavariani, CEO of IDS Borjomi Georgia. “We also want to be a beacon for the future of our country. For this, we need to speak the language of the next generation.”