Malta Food and Wine


Where and what to eat and drink in Malta

Wine TastingTours in Malta
This an abstract from an article by Margareta Zaveri published in the July 2008 issue of Sky Life – the Air Malta in-flight magazine.

More and more people who travel on holiday don’t want just sun and sea, but like to experience the local culture. One way to find out more about wine and local food specialities is to follow a wine route or visit a few wineries.

In many of the established wine producing countries it is easy to join a tour or follow a wine route to find out about the locally produced wines and perhaps try some of the wines. What about Malta? Are there any organised wine tasting tours? Or is there a wine route?
Some of the large tour operators organise wine tasting tours for their guests, so if you are travelling to Malta on a package holiday you may be lucky to be able to sign up for a wine tasting trip as an excursion. If you are travelling independently alone or in a small group, visits need to be arranged by appointment with the wineries.

At Malta’s oldest wine producer Emmanuel Delicata, tours can be arranged by appointment for groups of twelve people or more. Tours can be customized but normally covers a historic overview of wine production. Then there may be a cellar tour and a wine tasting in the historic tasting vaults, which are located underground at their site in Paola Waterfront. A number of Emmanuel Delicata’s wines are entered to international wine competitions every year and many win awards. For example this year their Grand Cavalier Chardonnay 2006 won a bronze medal in the “Chardonnay du Monde” competition in Burgundy.

If you do not visit the winery, another chance to taste Delicata’s range of wines would be to visit the four day Delicata Wine Festival in Valetta (7 - 10th August 2008) or in Nadur, Gozo (22-24th August 2008).

A few roads away from Emmanuel Delicata, just off Paola Hill, is Marsovin which was established in 1919. Here the tour starts off with a historic introduction and an explanation of the wine making process. Visitors are then guided through to the cellars, where the red wines are maturing in over 200 French and American oak barriques. Also in these cellars “Cassar de Malte”, the sparkling wine of Malta, is made using the same method as Champagne - Methode Traditionelle. Guests will then be taken to the tasting area to sample a selection of Marsovin’s wines served with a variety of finger foods. There is also a shop where Marsovin’s wines can be purchased.

In Hal Farrug, limits of Siwieggi, not too far from Luqa airport is one of Malta’s newest wineries - Montekristo Estate. The centre piece of this 20 acre country estate is the “Chateau”, which is surrounded by a newly equipped winery and vineyards. Underground there are large purpose vaults and the wine storage areas are temperature and humidity controlled. The site is currently under construction and not fully open, but there are banqueting and conference areas which are available to hire. Once fully open (planned for October 2008), Montekristo are aiming to provide winery tours and tastings at this beautiful location.

Further inland in the town of Naxxar is the young and dynamic Camilleri Wines (part of master group). Adjacent to their winery in Naxxar is Master Cellars, the retail store of master group, where Camilleri wines are available together with a large range of international wine and sprits labels. Tutored wine tastings for small groups can be arranged and are normally held in the custom made tasting area within the shop. If you come for a tasting here perhaps you get a chance to taste Malta’s only Viognier, from the Palatino range. For larger groups other venues can be arranged, as well as a visit to one of their managed vineyards.

A short drive from Naxxar towards the national stadium in Ta’ Qali is Meridiana Wine Estate. The purpose built limestone winery and administration building is surrounded by Meridiana’s vineyards. Tours and tastings are normally conducted by Meridiana’s wine maker Roger Aquilliera. The visitor to Meridiana will first be given a talk about the history of the company followed by a tour of the winery. Then, there will be a tutored tasting of a few of the hand crafted wines, accompanied by nibbles. For larger groups the picturesque inner court can be hired for wine tastings or other events. At Meridiana there is a real passion about Maltese wines and their mission is to produce “World class wines of Maltese character”. This is perfectly reflected in the wines produced at this boutique style winery.

In summary, to take a closer look at the Maltese wine industry you will have to rely on your organisational skills to make up your own wine tasting / excursion.

In addition the Maltese Institute of Tourism Studies (ITS) have identified a need to provide information to the independent traveller in a project they call Relational Tourism. They are hoping to have an area with the ITS website up and running by the end of summer of 2008 where wine and viticulture has been identified as one of six areas of cultural interest. All the Maltese wine producers have been involved and welcome the ITS initiated project, and as Dr Albert Caruana General Manager of Monekristo Estate put it: “If we all work together everyone would reap the benefits – locals, tourists and visitors, and all the Maltese producers.”

Malta Wine Routes
Save time and let us help you create your own wine route

Interested in visiting a winery whilst in Malta? Please contact us at MaltaFoodAndWine and we can help you create an exciting day out on your own custom made wine tour.
All the major wineries in Malta are within easy reach of each other and it would be quite easy to visit a couple in a day and perhaps plan a lunch break in between. To find out more, please contact us on:

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