dok guarantee

Malta’s Appellations

Delicata produces a vast range of white, red and pink still and semi-sparkling wines purveyed under their respective brand name. Many of these wines and brands have been around for many years and have consistently delivered drinking pleasure to many wine enthusiasts.

Following the country’s accession to the E.U. in 2004, Malta’s appellation system was introduced three years later and Delicata’s first ever D.O.K. and I.G.T. wines were launched in December of 2007.

The country now has a framework of two wine classifications covering three appellations for ‘Quality Wine’. The term ‘Quality Wine’ is an official wine designation used throughout the European Union and beyond. The E.U. recognises this designation of  ‘Quality Wine’ as the highest wine category.

More specifically, these wines are classified as ‘Quality Wine Produced in a Specific Region’, or QWPSR. For the identification of these wines, each country has its own terminology and respective abbreviations which indicate and guarantee the origin of the grapes. With permission of the national regulator, winemakers may proudly display them on the label of each bottle. For example, there is D.O.C. in Italy and A.O.C. in France. For the consumer this is an instant guarantee of the wine’s authenticity and origin.

In line with stringent E.U. regulations, Maltese winemakers may also do so. For wines that conform to the European QWPSR legislation and pass accreditation standards, they are allowed to show on the label the words ‘DENOMINAZZJONI TA’ ORIGINI KONTROLLATA’ or the abbreviation ‘D.O.K.’  This is one of two classifications.

These three words or letters will be followed by the name of the region or appellation denoting where the grapes used to produce the wine were grown, either Malta or Gozo. In other words: ‘D.O.K. MALTA’ means that the grapes used come only from the main island itself and ‘D.O.K. GOZO’ indicates that the grapes have been harvested only in Gozo, Malta’s sister island. Thus there are two D.O.K. appellations.

The second and less stringent Maltese wine classification for QWPSR is ‘I.G.T. Maltese Islands’ and is used for those wines that are made from grapes which may originated from either Malta or Gozo or both islands. This is the third appellation for quality wines made from grapes that are grown locally.

The grapes used to produce D.O.K. quality wine will had to have had higher natural alcohol levels and must have come from authorised vines with lower yields than wines falling under I.G.T. status. The finished wines will also have undergone rigorous, independent, analytical and organaleptic tests by blind tasting panels in Italy. The wines will have to have gone through independent analysis and adjudication both locally and overseas before certification was finally given.

As of 2012, the designation ‘Wine of Malta’ or ‘Produce of Malta’ has started to replace the former category of  ‘Table Wine’. It is a designation in addition to the QWPSR categories. These wines often offer good value for money and are also made from grapes grown in Malta and Gozo. In future, these wine labels may also indicate grape variety and vintage.

Whilst label references such as ‘D.O.K.’ and ‘I.G.T.’ and ‘Wine of Malta’ authenticate the origin of the grapes, the name Delicata remains your guarantee for quality and drinking pleasure.