Launch of Wines of Distinction campaign
The educational and information campaign Wines of Distinction, launched recently, draws the attention to and explains the meaning of DOK Malta, DOK Gozo and IGT Maltese Islands, while aiming to bring awareness, attention and interest to the distinctiveness of quality wines.
A recent study, conducted by the Agriculture Directorate, has highlighted the fact that despite the DOK and IGT certification being in place for 10 years, and although there has been improvement on the perception of local wine, there is still room for more knowledge about wine certification among the local population.
During the official campaign launch, Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Animal Rights Clint Camilleri said that after talks held with Maltese wine producers to better understand their needs, a plan was devised in order to continue investing in the wine promotion campaign, aiming to raise awareness and interest in the distinctive quality wines produced in Malta under the protection of geographical indications as regulated by the European Union.
He stated that Malta and Gozo are proud to produce high quality wines of distinction that were recognised by the European Union and protected in the same manner as high quality protected wines throughout Europe. Camilleri said that he is optimistic that this campaign will instil appreciation in the Maltese consumer with regards to the meaning of production of DOC and IGT wines.
The director for Agriculture, Saviour Debono Grech, explained that in order for this quality to be reached there is a lot of work and dedication involved:
The farmer has to follow the production of grapes throughout the year and ensure that grapes reach a high quality before being harvested,
The vintners have to ensure that grapes are made into distinct wine, and
The Directorate’s officials have to monitor and certify the process.
As per the EU framework, DOK (Denominazzjoni ta’ Oriġini Kontrollata) wines are given such a label upon satisfying rules governing quality, authenticity, geographic zone and the variety of grapes. Indeed, locally we have both DOK Malta and DOK Gozo as the top-most quality wines.
The IGT (Indikazzjoni Ġeografika Tipika) Maltese Islands label is one which signifies wines that are still of great merit. Nine wineries on the Maltese islands are currently producing DOK and IGT wines and around 450 hectares of land are dedicated to the cultivation of vines. During the 20162017 season, the wineries produced 458,866 litres of DOK or IGT wine.
Aiming for a wide reach, the campaign which is being spearheaded by the Parliamentary Secretariat for Agriculture, Fisheries and Animal Rights, has been designed by a specifically established task force composed of local vintners producing quality wines.
The campaign, which is spread over a period of two years, will be rolled out on several channels ranging from TV to radio, billboards and magazines, including social media and online portals. Apart from adverts, part of the campaign is focused on educational articles and participation of officials from the Directorate of Agriculture responsible for the quality wines on radio and TV programmes. All this will serve to bring more information about quality wines to the general public.
A wine appreciation and tasting event is being planned and the establishment of the first-ever Wine Trail in Malta and Gozo is also in the pipeline.
Ultimately, the intention is that the Maltese population and foreign residents living in Malta appreciate the good quality wines that carry the DOK Malta, DOK Gozo and IGT Maltese Islands certification and the laborious work involved.