ExploreGayle PadgettRoad Trips South of France

The Perrier Museum and Source Find Out What’s the Hubbub Over Bubbles?

In the tiny town of Vergèze, near the fabulous Roman city of Nîmes, stands the mega powerhouse producer of bottled water bubbles known worldwide as Perrier.

Perrier Crazy colorful C'est Fou ad by artist Bernard Villemot

The Perrier Museum

The story behind this “Champagne of table waters” becoming a globally recognized brand began over 160 years ago. While on a French study program, the wealthy Brit Sir John Harmsworth met one Dr. Louis Perrier, the director of a ritzy Vergèze spa fed by a spring named Les Bouillens. The good doctor saw a business opportunity for the water that bubbled up from Les Bouillens—which he considered therapeutic—but lacked the know-how to mass market it.

Vintage Perrier truck outside The Perrier Museum

Enter Sir Harmsworth, along with his formidable resources, who bought the property with the magical spring (1898) and renamed it Perrier out of respect for the doctor. A few years later, the sparkling water was available across the south of France and sold in the iconic bowling pin-shaped green bottles.

The Perrier Museum property entrance

The property now includes extensive park-like grounds—an invitingly lush pique-nique area—a stately chateau, boutique, and museum. The one-room musée consists of a small standing-room-only “theatre” where visitors can watch a short film on the company’s history and commitment to biodiversity and sustainability. There are also detailed displays recounting Perrier’s origin story and bold ad campaigns.

The Perrier Museum Starck-designed ridged bottle

The newest artful promotion—to celebrate Perrier’s 160th anniversary—involves a collaboration with the Parisian designer Philippe Starck. In a certain light, the clever re-imagination of the famous green bottle, now with horizontal ripples from base to spout, makes the bubbles seem to sparkle.

The Perrier Museum Starck-designed ridged bottle

A tasting room, you ask? Not exactly, but a museum ticket does include an ice-cold can of the effervescent beverage. Santé!

Practical Information

PERRIER® Museum (website)

Before a visit, check the opening times. Generally, from April through September, the museum is open Tuesday through Saturday. During the winter, opening days are limited to Wednesday and Saturday.

Adult tickets are 7 euros and 5 euros for children 7 years and older and free for kids under 7.

Guided tours must be booked in advance. To make reservations, call +33 (0)6 77 42 15 63.
The tour takes about 40 minutes. However, plan on 1 – 1 1/2 hours for the tour and some time in the museum on your own.

Discover Gayle’s books Passion for Provence: 22 Keys to La Belle Vie and The Birdwatcher’s Wife: A Quest across France for Birds and La Belle Vie.


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Gayle Padgett

Gayle Smith Padgett, a UCLA graduate, has two master’s degress, neither in French. After studying in Mexico and South America, she worked as a language specialist in California and Virginia and later as a management analyst and US government liaison in Heidelberg, Germany. In 2011, she and her husband moved to Provence where they continue to crack French culture codes.

Discover more about Gayle's backstory and writing on her website - gaylesmithpadgett.com and read her books Passion for Provence: 22 Keys to La Belle Vie and The Birdwatcher's Wife: A Quest across France for Birds and La Belle Vie.

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