According to an old legend, Värska water has miraculous powers. The bereaved widow Maarja was weeping by holy springs. The tears of pure love instilled power in the water rising to the surface from the depths of the earth. The thirsty can draw health, strength and long life from Värska water. There’s always a grain of truth in folklore. Värska mineral waters contain beneficial elements that have a favourable effect on the entire body. The area around Värska has more long-lived people than anywhere else in Estonia.
The first mineral water bore well was drilled in Värska in 1967.
Mineral water bottling started in 1973. The mineral water came from a bore well 470 metres in depth. In the 1970s, the water began to be marketed in Estonia. The mineral water was bottled in 0.5 l glass bottles.
In 1986, a GDR-made NAGEMA production line was installed at Värska, allowing 15,000 half-litre glass bottles to be filled per hour. The water marketing spread to Latvia, Pskov oblast, St. Petersburg and Belarus. In 1987, 17 million bottles of mineral water rolled off the line.
On 1 June 1993, the enterprise was reorganized as AS Värska, which operates the bottling plant to this date and also produces flavoured waters, non-carbonated drinking waters from a well 150 m in depth, and kvass. In 1995, the plant began bottling in PET containers. During Estonia’s re-independence period, mineral water has been exported to Latvia.
Since 2003, AS Värska Vesi’s production facilities meet European Union standards. As of 2005, Värska mineral water is Estonia’s only certified natural mineral water. In 2008, a new 1,300 m² modern warehouse is built, including new non-work areas for employees.
In April 2010, a new production line began to be installed. The line entered into operation on 19 May 2010. The amount of the investment is close to 48 million kroons (over 3 million euros). Enterprise Estonia provided 40% of the cost of the purchase.
In spring 2012, a new 1,000 m² production warehouse was completed and in June, a bottling line for glass bottles was launched.