Tal Massar Winery
Hi there, I’m Luca Arrigo, Co-Founder at Wineboxinc.com. A subscription service for wine lovers looking to discover particular flavours in unique grapes to well known blends of famous varieties. I come from a science background but I’m not your typical scientist. I love living in the present moment, this passion for the present is expressed in my desire to create and curate experiences. My journey into the wine world began in 2018 and after a year of studying I have begun my expedition into the hands on world. By meeting a diversity of stakeholders that make up the industry in a concerted effort to become an expert on the subject. Other than wine, I love people, travel and spontaneity. I think all these traits blend to form a unique flavour, me.
Gozo is Malta’s little sister, if you think about Malta as the rough, popular and ambitious older brother. Gozo is the cute underrated little sister with class and elegance. Gozo has a long history in Agriculture and Civilisation. Today I visited the Tal Massar Winery where during its development in 2006 a punic coin was found dating back to 2500 B.C. On this coin was stamped the image of a Goddess, Tanit. The Goddess of War & Fertility. During the Summer Feasts one might think Gozo is at war. Plattards and fireworks light up the night sky and their shockwave reverberates through the salty & humid air. The fertility of Gozo lays testament to its rolling hills, perched aquifers and clay rich soils. This has been exploited by numerous civilisations over millennia. In 2019 a Pheonician Galley was discovered 140 metres deep off the coast of Xlendi bay. Still largely intact, cargo and all! The cargo contained oil, honey and wine! Gozos most famous exports that have been celebrated since ancient times and are still adored today.
The wine industry in Malta has endured dry summers and disease. Other than these 2 factors the Wine industry in Malta has also suffered from the plague of complacency, laziness and lack of pride. Many growers, producers and consumers have for at least the last century refused to believe in the potential of the local industry. Like with every failure, the reluctance of the Maltese to enjoy Local wines has led to a success..unlike most regions of italy, france and other wine capitals. The local scene shines a spotlight on wine from around the world, the Maltese wine palate is well refined and it is in our nature to seek out new flavours and something exciting during a wine tasting.
Whilst it is a real shame that we do not put our local product on a pedestal, a number of small wineries around Gozo and Malta truly care for their product. The passion of Anthony, the founder of Tal-Massar Winery releases an energy that you can feel during his wine tasting experience in Gozo. Anthony is a pioneer for wine produced in Malta. His GrandFather was the first among the first of his name to open a winery, which was closed by his late father and then reopened by him in the early 00’s. Whilst the production still occurs on the same grounds, the fields which harbour the vines has changed.
Anthony chose a particular spot on the island of Gozo to plant his grape varieties. One would think that fertile soil would produce the best crop. Why then did Anthony choose to plant his vines on the brow of a hill, exposed to a salty breeze and dry chalky soil? A plant that is grown in a harsh environment produces lower quantities at higher quality. This combination of factors has given the Tal-Massar Winery its competitive edge. Produce less at a higher quality is the key to their success. I tasted their wine and I LOVE IT.
Tal Massar Tanit - White
The Tal Massar Tanit is suitably named after the greek goddess of fertility. It’s a fruity white with prominent flavours of green apple, peach, pineapple and lemon. A perfect pair for a hot summer’s day. The Summer in Malta is felt for nearly 9 months of the year so it's no surprise that this wine is a best seller for the Tal-Massar Winery! Goes well with a fish dish especially due to its citrus tones.
Tal Massar Manzara - Rose’
I am quite new to the wine world but I can honestly say that this was the most surprising glass of wine that I have ever experienced. Tasting this Rose’ wine let loose an effervescent swirl of aromas and flavors that tickled my tongue and nostrils. It’s got a deep pink/red colour that is unique to the year of production. I tasted the 2018 variety and by god what a bottle of smooth strawberry and watermelon with a surprising end of Banana. Very unique and thoroughly drinkable.
Tal Massar San Mitri - Red
First impressions are a ruby red bottle of spicy wine. The sangiovese is peppery and pairs well with animal products such as salami and goats cheese which are typical of the gozitan appetizers. It is tasty with a touch of sweetness. The wine serves to have a complex flavour thanks to its unique blend which is 85% Sangiovese and 15% a Tal-Massar family secret!
Tal Massar Garb - Red Dessert Wine
This wine was left for the end of the wine tasting experience. It was tactically separated from the rest and we were warned of its awesome power. The Garb was poured through a decanter shaped similarly to the human digestive system. It is recommended to suitably aerate the Garb before consumption. On pouring of this wine into the crystal glass its deep purple colours and intense aromas overwhelm your senses. Its ecstatic hints of cherry and chocolate make excellent use of the nero d’avola grape. The sweet almost port like similarities are exhibited because this wine is subject to late harvest conditions.