history of wine in malta

In ancient times the grapevine was grown for the production of wine in almost all the countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea and on many of its islands, including Malta. Historically, the Mediterranean was the focus of viticulture (the art of grape growing) and the majority of the then most famous wines of the world were produced under the Mediterranean’s ideal climatic conditions. Ever since, the Phoenicians, the Romans, the Knights from the Order of St. John of Jerusalem and the Maltese people have continued to grow vines and produce wine for well over 4000 years.

The Maltese archipelago which consists of three islands, Malta, Gozo and Comino, is situated in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, 93 kilometres south of Sicily and 290 kilometres from North Africa. The longest distance in Malta is 27 kilometres and the total area of the islands is 316 square kilometres. Malta has neither mountains, lakes, rivers or forests. However, a series of low hills with terraced fields on slopes characterise the Maltese Islands.

The climate is generally hot and there are no biting winds, fog, snow or frost, and rain falls only for short periods. The hottest period is from mid-July to mid-September. But hot summer days and nights are tempered by cool breezes from the surrounding sea.

So many years later, Malta is witnessing a revival in this ancient art as viticulture positions itself to become one of the Islands’ leading agricultural activities. At the forefront of this revival is the Malta’s largest and most-awarded wine producer, Emmanuel Delicata. This fourth generation winemaking company was founded in 1907 by Eduardo Delicata and its modern winery with state-of-the-art technology with 17th century wine cellars are located in Paola, on the waterfront overlooking the Grand Harbour.

The wines Delicata create reflect everything a modern wine consumer requires: fruit driven, fresh wines that offer flavour, consistency and quality.

These refreshing wines are produced from grapes grown in over 380 dedicated family run vineyards growing both international grape varieties and Malta’s indigenous cultivars, all selected and managed by Delicata’s team of expert viticulturists. These unique Maltese grapes play a vital role in the winemaking philosophy of this one hundred year old, fourth generation winemaker who has been championing their existence and revival for many years.