Years of over protectionism which produced (largely over-priced) wine mainly from foreign grapes imported from Europe (largely Sicily) and elsewhere have greatly decreased. Many thought that this would be the end for many of the wineries, however it has largely not be the case.
Helped by government and European investment wine producing grape varieties have sprung up around the islands of Malta and Gozo. Subsequent DOK and IĠT (Indikazzjoni Ġeografica Tipika) standardisation has helped increase quality and promote Maltese wines as a proper field player.
as the more fruitful Chardonnay, Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc & Cabernet Franc. The choice of the foreign varieties is dictated more by consumer demand than suitability to the climate, as many a wine maker has commented.
Value for money can hardly be a consideration when talking about Maltese wines. Malta and Gozo’s, Għawdex in Maltese, economic success has resulted in expensive manual labour; Malta’s small size, as well as over building, has the effect of rather small and patchy vine plantations and hence heavy machinery cannot be used often. Rural property in Malta would be considered by many to be rather at a premium. Malta is hilly, but does not have hills that go beyond 350 meters, thus not allowing the grapes to cool in the evening, and there are no constantly flowing water supplies, unlike nearby Sicily. Water is at a premium and many wineries resort to irrigation, something that would be frowned upon in some circles. Nonetheless, Malta’s poor soil, hot and humid climate, as well as sea breeze produces some of the finest fruits in the world, should the tree stand the harsh conditions. Malta is famous for their oranges and other citrus fruits, as well as the bajtar tax-xewk (the prickly pear, fico d’India). strawberries (frawli) and many others. Grapes are no exception and, indeed, the Maltese are quite proud of the grapes produced. Grapes are rather sweet in the short-lasting season and the Maltese like eating them off the tree. There is evidence that wine has been produced from these grapes since at least the Phoenician times, and interestingly, predating the Roman’s, something that is not too common. The wine produced has mostly been of a farmer’s wine type : made to be drunk soon after it is ready. Many Maltese still do so today, and not only in farming communities. There is some pride on the island in the new wines being produced today.
Maltese wines form out a specific niche and they carve it out quite nicely.
We hope that you enjoy our selection of Maltese wines, both online and in our three physical stores. We do International Shipping : We still need to set that up automatically online. Please call in the interim at +356 21223755.