Coinciding with the 10th anniversary of Malta’s accession to the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (O.I.V.) as a full member in October 2001, Mr Georges Meekers, Delicata’s Head of Sales, had the pleasure of uncorking the first bottle of Maltese wine at the O.I.V. headquarters in Paris.
As part of a Maltese delegation, Mr. Meekers had preliminary exchanges with O.I.V. president Yves Benard about the uniqueness and the renaissance of the Maltese wine industry, the progress in the vineyard and cellar, which has resulted in gold, silver and bronze medals for Delicata wines at international wine competitions organised under the patronage of the O.I.V. On this occasion, Mr Yves Bennard (of Moet et Chandon fame and chief of the French wine appellation institute INAO) briefly outlined the roles and missions of the O.I.V. for the global wine sector, objectives and main areas of work as set forth in its latest Strategic Plan. Also present was Mr. Claude Zammit Trevisan representing l’Office du Tourisme de Malte. He mentioned the importance of Maltese quality wines, the country’s vinous heritage, as a tangible and enjoyable vehicle to promote Malta to the French travel trade. Dr Mark Miggiani, Ambassador of Malta to the French Republic who had facilitated the visit and headed the delegation, touched on several opportunities to develop closer ties between the O.I.V. and wine producing country Malta.
The visit then continued with a tour of the O.I.V. offices and lecturing rooms and ended with a wine tasting at the wine vault of the O.I.V., which is the custom of the Organisation as a sign of respect and friendship. Mr. Meekers had the honour to uncork Delicata’s D.O.K. Gozo-Victoria Heights Merlot from the 2010 vintage, as the first ever Maltese wine at the O.I.V. cellars. He reciprocated the president’s hospitality by presenting a double magnum (3 litre) of Delicata’s 2008 vintage Gran Cavalier Barrel Matured Syrah in a wooden presentation case, which will be proudly placed in the OIV vault under the inscription ‘Malta’.
The International Organisation of Vine and Wine, also dubbed the United Nations of Wine, is made up of 45 Member states. O.I.V. standards are designed to protect the reputation of a nation’s wine producers as a whole and to safeguard the welfare of consumers and growers. O.I.V. rules extend worldwide, beyond the European Union to the New World as well. Its main objective is the contribution to the international harmonisation of practices and norms to improve the trade conditions in the vine and wine sectors.