A History of Sophistication: Maltese Wine
The Mediterranean is extremely popular for its production of sophisticated, aromatic wines. However, one destination in particular has forged an outstanding reputation for wine production – in Malta, the art of creating wine has been a long tradition embedded in the country’s culture. With historic influences from past invaders such as Phoenicians and Romans, in modern times Maltese wineries produce various types to suit any palate and throughout both the islands of Malta and Gozo there are numerous vineyards that have been adapted to produce the high-quality liqueur.
The wine process begins with the grapes and therefore it’s essential for vineyards to select the most suitable for the flavour; they typically use native species such as Ġellewża, but also import foreign grapes (including Chardonnay) as they can survive in the climate. The climate is very important for wineries to consider as the lack of rain means vineyards have to allow irrigation to prevent the grapes going sour. Harvesting begins earlier in the year – from the beginning of August –and can last until October; the hot sun causes the grapes to ripen quicker and there is a dangerous risk of them over-ripening.
Over the years there have been famous Maltese wineries established that have set up vineyards across the Maltese and Gozo landscape, aiming to produce excellent wines that contain amazing taste that stem from the quality of the grapes. For example Ulysses Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay from Marsovin is an elegant white wine produced from Gozo and is packed with fruity flavours with great zest that reflects the glorious weather of the country. Another exceptional example is Melqart from Meridiana, a gorgeous red wine that will give you a brilliant combination of fruity and spicy essence and is based on the great influence from the Phoenicians.
When you visit Malta there are fantastic opportunities for you to indulge in the culture of their liqueur, such as visiting the famous cellars for wine-tasting where you can learn more about the wine-making process and sample some of the very best types. Throughout the year, the country holds fantastic events such as the Morsovin Summer Wine Festival (mid-July.) At the festival, wine lovers can enjoy performances by talented musicians, while drinking their favourite choice from a vast array of Maltese wines.
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