It all started in the small, sleepy village of Vilajuïga, where a (seemingly) modest well supplied a particularly unique type of water to the villagers, who had to climb a flight of steps in order to reach it. They knew there was something special about this water, and they ascribed it mineral and medicinal properties. Something marvellous was hidden in that well…
Ramon Margineda, seeing that the village mineral water was so well liked, decided to set up a company under the name, Aigües de Vilajuïga. On 15th July 1904 his product was declared a mineral water fit for medicinal purposes. His entrepreneurial instinct and spirit never proved wrong.
From then on, the company began to advertise the water’s unique taste and personality in Girona, Barcelona and Andorra, and later throughout the whole of Catalonia.
Thanks to its unique qualities, Vilajuïga water rapidly became popular, as demonstrated by the fact that in 1910, the renowned artist Leonetto Cappiello designed a promotional poster that has now become a valuable collector’s item. Moreover, in 1917, Vilajuïga water was the official sponsor of the very first cycle Tour of Catalonia.
Sales and exports grew exponentially, even reaching as far as the Americas. In 1929, the success of Vilajuïga water was rewarded with a gold medal at the World’s Fair in Barcelona, and in subsequent years the water went on to become an object of exaltation and praise for internationally renowned Catalan artists such as Josep Pla, Salvador Dalí and Ferran Adrià.
A new era.
A family loyal to the region.
When Víctor Grifols heard that Aigües de Vilajuïga was going to close its doors after 114 years of history, his family ties and emotional connection to the region compelled him to do everything possible to protect the water and continue production, so that the people of Vilajuïga – and everyone who loved this unique and remarkable water – could continue to enjoy it for another 114 years (at least).
A relaxed brand.
The new brand, Vilajuïga, was created with total respect for Vilajuïga’s water and its origins. The village’s humility, simplicity and honesty have given rise to an outlook and a way of life that are unpretentious, discreet and a clear homage to tradition; much like the venerable water that bears its name. Vilajuïga is a relaxed brand, like the village it comes from. It is friendly and informal, like its people. These are the values of both a village and its water: values that have inspired the rebirth of a brand born out of the utmost admiration for what Vilajuïga represents.
How can we organize the various structures that comprise our facilities, from the solid stone masia of 1843 to the Modernist-style buildings and the warehouses that look like they built themselves? How can we intervene in a place where the most special and unique element lies hidden within the depths of the subsoil?
These questions form the basis of our proposals to improve the cohesion of the complex’s architecture as a whole.
First, we plan to restore the architectural heritage, which ranges from Modernist structures to elements which, like Vilajuïga water itself, are rooted in the soil: stone walls, thatched roofs and sail-vaulted ceilings.
And second, we want to celebrate the richness stored in the depths of our land in a way that is experiential. When walking through the grounds, in addition to the buildings you can also see the four wells that penetrate 10, 15 and up to 200 metres into the heart of Vilajuïga. It is here that the true natural miracle of Vilajuïga water resides.
A bottle modelled on the tramuntana.
A geologically complex, changing environment. A region shaped by the winds of the tramuntana, with rocks sculpted by the rain and a landscape eroded over the course of centuries. These traits are typical of the Empordà region, and have inspired the design of the new bottle for Vilajuïga water.
Its bold asymmetrical shape and the beautiful imperfection of its organic forms leave no doubt that only a truly unique water could be presented in such a singular way.
Because having a bottle of Vilajuïga on the table means enjoying the purest essence of the Empordà region.
Respect for the environment.
The Empordà region is the tramuntana, the sea, and the mountains. It is history and culture: a land of wild mushrooms, vines and olive trees, all deeply rooted in the soil. Empordà is also a land of water: water collected in the mountains that surround the plains; water that nourishes the soil and rivers.
Empordà is its people, its families, its residents; and it is their stories and anecdotes. Empordà is food culture: it is Fonteta cheese curds, Escala anchovies, Pals rice, Palamós shrimp and Figueres onions; it is Quaresma fritters and and the region’s legendary stuffed apples.
Ultimately, Empordà is a unique and exciting treat for the senses, and we at Vilajuïga are proud to be part of this extraordinary environment and to be able to show the world, in our own humble way, that true luxury is being able to enjoy the fruits of nature.