A BALLARAT bottled water business is tapping into the Asian retail market.
Cottonwood Springs in Dunnstown exported its first batch of bottled spring water to China last August.
Cottonwood Springs manager Corey Hewitt said there was still a market to sell bottled water.
“It all comes down to exporting quality products into China,” Mr Hewitt said.
“People are a bit more affluent than they used to be.
“... We are able to tap into the cultural mindset at the moment.”
Mr Hewitt said the company would export bottled spring water to China to capitalise on summer in the northern hemisphere.
“We basically run (the plant) at nine thousand bottles an hour,” he said.
The plant has the capacity to produce 48 million bottles a year.
The Cottonwood Springs water comes from an aquifer at the foot of Mount Warrenheip and is extracted from the ground and fed into the factory.
“We run it through a UV to kill off any bacteria and feed it straight across to the filler from there,” Mr Hewitt said.
A number of owners have used the Dunnstown site in the past 150 years.
The site was used as a distillery complex, producing whisky, gin and fortified wines, until 1920, while Carlton and United Breweries (CUB) owned the company for eight years until September 2012.
The new owners took on the business in April last year.
As for whether Mr Hewitt can taste the difference between bottled or tap water?
“I’ve become a bit of a water snob over the years,” Mr Hewitt said.
“I am so used to a product that has not been tampered with.”
Cottonwood Springs is planning to release a line of lightly carbonated spring water and carbonated mineral water in the future.