Photo: © Alexey Sokolov/iStock/Thinkstock
They say good things come in small packages, and this is certainly true when it comes to one of the world’s tiniest wine producing countries. Despite its diminutive size, Malta packs a punch at an international level, offering some seriously good vino. With a heritage that spans back to over 2,000 years and two indigenous grape varieties, Malta has slowly gained momentum in the wine world, and today some of its wineries export their goods across Europe and beyond.
The Maltese also have their own D.O.K appellation system (Denominazzjoni Ta’ Origini Kontrollata), that’s used to ensure the origin and quality of its vintages. During the summer, Maltese wine producers organise a series of events and festivals across the Maltese islands, which generally include live entertainment and a feast of local fare. From the scenic Ta’ Mena Estate, to the historical Marsovin Cellars and the traditional Meridiana Wine Estate, here’s all you need to know about all things wine-related in Malta.
With over 90 international wine awards in its impressive portfolio, it’s probably safe to say that the Delicata family are onto something good. Established back in 1907, this family-run winery has dedicated its efforts to producing the finest of wines for over 100 years, with four generations of dedicated winemakers keen on extending the passion of their ancestors. Visitors are welcome to visit the 17th century cellars or join one of the weekly wine tasting tours guided by in-house experts.
Offering a varied range of exceptional wines including the sparkling Single Vineyard, Méthode Traditionelle, as well as a number of sweet wines, Marsovin stands at the forefront of the local wine producers and exporters in Malta. Its 400-year old cellars once served as workshops for the Knights of St John – they are now open to the public. Book a 90-minute tour to cover the history of this famous wine producer and don’t forget to pick up a couple of bottles on the way home.
As the oldest Marsovin Estate vineyards, the Marnisi estate was created with the specific intention of producing premium high quality wines, many of which have become a household name in Malta. The estate covers approximately 15 acres and includes over 50,000 grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot among others. Despite being amongst the top vineyards in Malta the harvest here is relatively low, making for complex, full-bodied wines.
Have an Instagram filter ready; nestled within the lush Gozitan countryside, the Ta’ Mena Estate ranks among the world’s most picturesque vineyards. Apart from offering cooking lessons, fruit and vegetable picking and oil harvesting sessions, this little winery also produces some of the best wines in the region. This boutique family-run winery specialises in delicate wines known for their fruity, deep flavours and distinctive characteristics typical of the tiny island of Gozo.
Located towards the centre of Malta, the Meridiana Wine Estate may have not been here longest, but that’s of no detriment to its quality. Meridiana’s first harvest sold out completely within weeks and since then the winery has been producing a modest 140,000 bottles of great wine each year. It’s been said that this is the best vineyard on the island and we’re certainly not going to deny it.