Malta & Wine
Malta is a series of stunning island to the South of Italy. Very small and very beautiful. It is a rich culture whose official language (Maltese) is a blend of Arabic, Italian and French. Like their diverse language, the Maltese grow a lot of different grape varieties over both the Malta and Gozo Islands (think your staple diet of Cab Sauv, Merlot, Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay. These wines are rare as hen’s teeth to get outside of Malta but are abundant inside it, just like the amount of tourists that flock to its famous blue lagoon.
The two main producers of this island country, Marsovin and Delicata are trying to create quality and have a large range of wines over various Designations including single vineyard sites to base appellation Malta.
Upon trying the top of the range wines from both Delicata and Marsovin, there was some promise but the grapes that were being used in the wines, ultimately suit a more commercial appeal and the wines unfortunately lacked the characteristics that make them so successful in their respective countries and regions. Chenin Blanc is good in cooler climates like Loire and South Africa and maybe the heat of Malta is not its next hot spot (no pun intended).
With the abundant selection and diversity of grape selection, the wines do not have the same reputation as other Mediterranean countries. But like Sicily and the success of the indigenous varieties that we have seen there in the form of Etna Bianco and Etna Rosso, I look forward to seeing the Indigenous varieties (Ghirgentina & Gellewza) of Malta increase in popularity and hopefully in export. This is where the future of Maltese wine should lie and hopefully the market sees that.
For the price of the wines and what is being delivered it may be worthwhile looking further a field but certainly worth trying if you are there knocking back some outrageously delicious seafood served up on the Harbour’s edge.