Cool, pure and fresh water from sandstone caverns deep under the Cedarberg mountain range in the Cape will soon be refreshing the Springbok rugby teams when they walk off the field after exhausting test match battles or hard practices to prepare for these grueling encounters.

Cedarberg Aqua, a company which has for some time been offering South African consumers all over South Africa a range of water products, has concluded an agreement with the South African Rugby Union to supply their special products to the Springbok team, as well as the Springbok Sevens team. The water proudly carrying the famous Springbok emblem, icon of the national rugby teams, will also be supplied to executives and visitors to SARU’s offices when they meet to discuss the future of rugby in South Africa.

The Springbok branded water will, in terms of the agreement, also be marketed to consumers and fans across the country.

One of those who is pleased that this truly South African and natural product from the Cedarberg will be used to futher inspire the Springboks, is Jan Boland Coetzee, one of South Africa’s most colourful former rugby players and a wine maker of note. Jan Boland Coetzee says he believes the new ‘Springbok’ water will provide new impetus for the Springboks, so that during 80 minutes of test rugby they will play full steam to the end.

“Water en wine,” Jan Boland became philosophical! “It will be good and beautiful if the Springboks can thump the All Blacks at Ellispark. Then we can all celebrate together, with nice pure water which will refresh our heros and a good wine which will make the victory even sweeter.”

[divider] Lieben van der Merwe, Chairman of Cedarberg Aqua, a well-known citizen from Citrusdal and inspiration behind Cedarberg Aqua, decided to call on Jan Boland at his wine estate Vriesenhof to find out what this seasoned Springbok throught of the new ‘Springbok’ water from the Cedarberg. Known as a man of few words but much wisdom, Jan Boland simply stated that the water was ‘crystal clear and well rounded.’ For a moment there it sounded if he was talking about one of his famous red wines!

On the other side Jan Boland wanted to know what Lieben thought of his Vriesenhof 2005 Kallista wyn. “Very nice wine,” said the water man. “It will sell well!”

“It was a good year – 2005!” reminisce Jan Boland. “2005, it’s now also a few years ago. Time is passing so quickly.”

Kallista 2005 is a wine that according to Jan Boland, shows flint and leather on the nose with a hint of fruit and cassis. “There is a complexity of flavours on the palate with flint, leather, spice and fruit. It is an elegant wine with well-rounded tannins. The Kallista is a meal on its own or just have it with a simple creamy cheese like brie.”

On the label of the wine bottle, below the name, one finds the words – “To Kalon Kai Agathon.” Jan Boland explains that the words are derived from Plato’s statement that in life one should look for “the good and the beautiful or noble” and it is the Greek name chosen for the flagship blend in the Vriesenhof range of wines.

[divider] And so they sat talking on a rainy Cape September day, with the beautiful Stellenbosch mountains covered in cloud and mist and rain showers sweeping over the vineyards. Lieben with his glass of crystal clear Cedarberg water and Jan Boland with his beautiful wine. “Yes, water and wine, that is how we will celebrate the victory at Ellispark.”

In time the conversation returns to the Cedarberg’s water.

“Seriously, it is a special privilege for us to be involved in this way with SARU, the Springboks and Springbok Sevens team”, says Lieben van der Merwe. “Rugby is part of our heritage, we play it on our farms and we are always next to the field when the Springboks play, or gather around our television screens to cheer them on. To be in a position to share our wonderful natural product with them and support them in this way, is something special for us.”

“The water from the Cedarberg is acknowledged to be of the best quality in the world. It is just what the Springboks and Springbok Sevens team deserve for the efforts they put in to provide so much pleasure and enjoyment to their supporters,” he says.

South African Rugby is also pleased with the new partnership. “We are delighted to welcome Cedarberg Aqua to our family as a proud supplier to the Springboks and SARU,” said Jurie Roux, CEO of SARU. “We live in an age of major global brands, with whom we’re delighted to partner, but it is also very satisfying to link up with such an intrinsically South African company as Cedarberg Aqua.

“We hope that the association will allow them to grow their business globally and we look forward sampling their exceptional product from a beautiful region of South Africa.”

[divider] Lieben van der Merwe added: “For many years people have been commenting about the wonderful taste of water from the Cedarberg. The water gathers naturally in caverns deep under the Cedarberg after it had slowly seeped through the layers of sandstone which provides the natural filtration. We bring the water to the surface by means of a bore hole which has been sunk to a depth of 200 metres,” he says.

“The first time when the water is exposed to light, is when it flows into the bottle,” says Lieben van der Merwe.

Cedarberg Aqua has in the past received awards for entrepreneurial expertise and the association with South African Rugby will bring further momentum to its activities. “We hope to deliver the first ‘Springbok’ water on Heritage Day with the opening of The Springbok Experience, the South African Rugby Museum at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. Thereafter it will be available to the Springbok Sevens team for the Port Elizabeth leg of the International 7-s series in December.”

He expects that the association with SA Rugby will in time lead to a 40% growth in Cedarberg Aqua’s production. “We are busy with negotiations with several super market groups and expect that this water, which will so proudly carry the Spingbok emblem, will also be extremely popular amongst consumers.”

In the end it was time for Lieben to pack up his water, and as the beautiful bottle of Vriesenhof wine was finished, he and Jan Boland parted ways, no doubt to return again soon for another conversation.