Launch of Wines of Dis­tinc­tion cam­paign

The Malta Business Weekly - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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