A Basic Guide To Maltese Wine

Malta has good soil and climate, ideal for wine making.

When people think about wine they generally do not think about Maltese wines.  This is due to the fact that for many years Maltese wines have had a bad reputation.  However, this is changing and now is a good time to learn a bit about Maltese wine so you are prepared for when they hit the wine shelves. And Maltese businesses like www.HubMalta.com are promoting the products online in Malta and Gozo as well as overseas in countries like Uk, US and even as far as Australia

The History Of Wine On Malta

Wine production has been around for thousands of years.  The first wine production has been dated to the time of the Phoenicians and their settlement on the islands.  During the Phoenician times, 2 thousand years ago, wine was made locally and would not have been shipped very far from the island.  The wine production on Malta did not grow greatly until the start of the 20th century.

At the start of the 20th century, 2 wineries were established on Malta.  These wineries were the Emmanuel Delicata and Marsovin wineries.  In the 1970’s product become more serious and a number of international grape varieties were brought to the islands and grown for the wine makers.

However, it was only in 2004 that the focus of the wine makers shifted to produce higher quality wines.  This was due to Malta joining the European Union and the levies on wine were lifted.  The Marsovin winery started to focus only on fine DOK wines.  Since this time, there has been an increased demand for Maltese wines and many wineries have had to import grapes because the agricultural land on the islands is limited.

Maltese Wine Styles

There are many varieties of grape available to Maltese wine makers.  However, there are 2 indigenous varieties which have traditionally been used in Maltese wines.  These are the red Gellewza and the white Ghirgentina.  The traditional sparkling wine of Malta is the Cassar De Malte made by the Marsovin winery.  The method of making this wine is similar to the one used to make champagne.

The Wineries Of Malta

Today, there are 5 major wineries in Malta.  These are the traditional Marsovin and Emmanuel Delicata as well as Camilleri Wines, Meridiana and Montekristo.  Vini e capricci in Gozo is the main distributor for all these wines in gozo.  Their online store is //www.viniecapricci.com/  All of the wineries offer a cellar tour and wine tasting for people who are visiting the island.

Emmanuel Delicata and Marsovin are based close to Paola and were opened in 1907 and 1919 respectively.  Merifiana was only established in 1987 and is also located on Malta.  On the sister island Gozo, there are other smaller wineries of Ta’Mena and Tal-Massar which produce a range of wines.

The Qormi Wine Festival

Qormi, Malta is the home to the only wine festival on Malta.  The Qormi Wine festival has been held in the first week of September since 2005 and hosted in the streets of Qormi.  The festival is a 2-day event and completely free to the public.  There are generally 5 exhibitions ranging from wine to photography and historical treasures which are held at the same time as the Wine Festival to attract tourists and locals.