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Waving the flag for Maltese wine!

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Occupying a prominent spot on our tables, wine often accompanies us on special occasions. But do you know that this 8000-year-old drink is directly linked to the history of Malta? I will take you on its journey and introduce you to Maltese wine through the country’s history and character.

 

Maltese wine throughout the ages

Viticulture in Malta has origins as old as they are prestigious.

The vine and wine were introduced in Malta by the Phoenicians around the year 800 BC. The Greeks settled peacefully in modern day Mdina in 900 BC and shared the islands with the Phoenicians. Malta then became a colony of Carthage in 480 BC. It was under the control of the Romans in 218 BC up to the dismantling of the Roman Empire in 395 AD.

It was then passed under the control of the Eastern Roman Empire. Malta then remained Byzantine up to conquest by the Arabs. The vine declined during the Muslim occupation, until the arrival of the Knights of the Order of St John of Jerusalem who imported their technical knowhow.

Maltese viticulture prospered so much that it was even exported, until the British arrived and started replacing the vines to grow cotton. Towards the end of the 19th century, the collapse of the Maltese international cotton markets allowed the reimplementation of the vineyard after the phylloxera epidemic in 1919.

However, it was only in the 1970s that the production of Maltese wine really improved in quality with the introduction of French grape varieties.

White, Red or Pink ? The choice is yours !

The story of Maltese wine is exceptional and it is all thanks to the traditional indigenous vines and to a wide range of international varieties that have been growing on the island since the 1990s. Its two native varieties, The Girgentina and Gellewza, are especially unique. The Gellewza could possibly class itself as ‘the Pinot Noir of Malta’ due to its distinctive essence and flavours.

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Maltese wine owes its success to the grape variety it offers. Foreign reviews indicate that its international acclaim is not based on one single wine, but on a number of wines, which attests the accomplishments of local wineries. Delicata for instance, Malta’s most awarded winery, produces over 30 types of wine made locally, which guarantees the satisfaction of drinkers of different tastes and backgrounds. Despite its small size, Malta’s wine production outdoes expectations.

Do you want to try it ?

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Maltese Wine Festivals
The Ninth edition of the Marsovin Summer Wine Festival

The ninth edition will be held on the 15th, 16th & 17th July 2016 at Hastings Gardens, Valletta.

The programme plans to have a highly cultural and entertaining concept, by presenting a myriad of professional musicians performing daily, whilst offering a vast selection of over 30 certified D.O.K and I.Ġ.T quality wines from grapes grown around Malta and Gozo. View more details here.

The Delicata Classic Wine Festival

The 15th consecutive edition will be held at the Upper Barrakka Gardens in Valletta, from Thursday 4th to Sunday 7th August 2016, every evening from 7pm until midnight, and it promises to be grander than ever – and then 2 weeks later on the 19th, 20th & 21st August it happens all over again in Nadur, Gozo.   For more information view their website here.

Are you a fan of Maltese wine? Why not tell us what your favourites are!

 


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