HIGH QUALITY WINES MALTA & GOZO
In Malta, GI wines are regulated by specific legislation – Denomination of Origin and of Geographic Indications Regulations promulgated on the 1st June 2005, supplemented by the D.O.K. Wines Production Protocols Regulations (S.L. 436.07) and IĠT Wines Production
Protocols Regulations (S.L. 436.06). These regulations being specific to the production of wines which benefit from GI labels fall within the ambit of the Wine Act, 2001 (CAP 436).
The initial promoters of the D.O.K. and I.Ġ.T. production protocols sought to give higher value and ensure a higher quality of wines produced by wineries in Malta and Gozo. It is interesting to note that wines from the island region of Gozo have been given specific recognition and protection. In fact, DOK wines or Denominazzjoni ta’Oriġini Kontrollata are two distinct and fully fledged DOKs– DOK Malta and DOK Gozo.
This distinction was felt necessary due to the fact that Gozo is a geographically distinct region from the mainland. DOK makes specific reference not only to quality standards but is also intrinsically linked to the region where the grapes originate from. Consequently,
DOK Malta can only be attributed to those wines that originate from grapes which are grown and harvested on mainland Malta. Meanwhile, DOK Gozo refers to those wines obtained from grapes which originate from Gozo. DOK is used for all types of wine including red, white and rose. The production manuals set the maximum yield levels which are permissible and both DOK Malta and DOK Gozo adopt the same maximums as thresholds for a DOK production.
Meanwhile, with regards to IĠT wines, no such distinction exists and in fact, only IĠT Maltese Islands is recognized by law. Thus, grapes cultivated both on mainland Malta
and on the island region of Gozo may give rise and qualify for the IĠT “Maltese Islands”. Similar to what occurs with DOK productions, IĠT refers to all wines including red,
white and rose wines.
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