At a recent wine seminar in Gozo over sixty restaurateurs spent the day with a team of experts from Delicata learning more about Malta and Gozo’s D.O.K. and I.G.T quality wine systems. The training day was held at the Grand Hotel overlooking Mgarr harbour in Gozo. The aim of the seminar, entitled ‘a D.O.K. day with Delicata’, was to give people who come into contact with the end consumer, more details about what procedures are actually taken by Delicata before a bottle of their wine can exhibit a D.O.K. or I.G.T. label.
“It is all very well having a wine label with D.O.K. or I.G.T on it, but people need to know what it actually means in relation to the quality of the liquid in the bottle” a spokesperson from the Delicata winery said. “We have come here to Gozo with a team of professionals who can explain in detail the lengths they go to, every step of the way from the vine to the wine, so that we can guarantee these quality levels are achieved, bottle after bottle. People need to better understand the stringent quality practices that go into producing a Q.W.P.S.R. (quality wine produced in a specific region) so they can feel confident in recommending it and drinking it” he said.
After an introduction from Anthony Paris, Delicata’s area sales manager for Gozo, the first lecture was given by Mr. Dione Caruana who explained in detail the merits of tight controls in the vineyard to guarantee that top notch fruit is grown for Delicata. He spoke about the importance of uniformity, vine and canopy management, vineyard orientation, disease and pest control together with best harvesting procedures. This lecture was followed by Dr. Edric Bonello who went onto explain how the winemaking procedures at Delicata ensure those grapes are turned into quality wine. He also explained the benefits of the new technology installed at Delicata as part of its new €2.1 million investment in a red wine tank farm and the positive effects that has had on the Delicata wines.
Mr. Georges Meekers then talked about ‘wine over matter’ explaining how ‘small is beautiful’ and the benefits Delicata’s viticultural and oenological techniques can have when selling and promoting Maltese and Gozitan D.O.K. and I.G.T quality wines.
Finally Bill Hermitage took the audience through the extensive range of D.O.K. wines produced by Delicata and their rationale behind each and every brand, which include Pjazza Regina, who’s red wine just won a bronze medal in Bordeaux, Maltese Falcon, Medina, Grand vin de Hauteville, Gran Cavalier and Gozo’s very own Victoria Heights.
He then conducted a tutored wine tasting of two white wines and two red wines comparing the differences between them. The 2009 Pjazza Regina Maltese Islands I.G.T. White (adorned with the newly introduced banderol that guarantees authenticity) was tasted alongside a 2008 Victoria Heights Chardonnay D.O.K. Gozo which highlighted the difference in age, the subtle use of oak (in the Victoria Heights) and the difference between a single varietal wine and a blend. The two reds were a 2008 Medina Sangiovese (100%) with no oak and a 2008 Gran Cavalier Syrah Malta D.O.K. Superior that has been barrel matured in French oak barrels for nine months.
The D.O.K. day with Delicata was concluded with a four course food & wine appreciation lunch down in the Grand Hotel’s main restaurant where a further 7 wines were served. Two white wines accompanied the selection of antipasti, two rose wines accompanied two pasta dishes, two red wines accompanied a buffet of red meat and poultry dishes and a sweet white wine accompanied a selection of desserts. Guests were encouraged to try both wines with each course to see for themselves which wine went the best with each dish. This exercise not only demonstrated the importance of recommending or serving ‘the right wine with the right food’ but also highlighted the diversity of flavours and styles of wine available in the Delicata D.O.K. and I.G.T. range of quality Maltese and Gozitan wines.