Those of you that follow our work will know that we love to spend a little bit of time above water on our travels abroad, and especially love to visit vineyards and sample the wines that benefit from being close to the coast. So we were delighted to discover that we had been invited to visit Gozo, and that there was a local tasting available for us to attend. We had two days of diving on our short visit, and a day to absorb the local culture above the water. We dived with Calypso Diving Centre
, visiting caves, reefs and wrecks doing both boat and shore dives. The vineyard we visited was the Tal-Massar Winery
which offers a series of lovingly made wines.
Anthony met us at the vineyard to give us a tour, whilst explaining his passion for making wine on the island of Gozo. His ancestors had been making wine here since 1934, but he revived the tradition 12 years ago and makes 4 wines: a white, a rose, a red and Garb. We walked up to the tasting area, which is a lovely deck overlooking the sea, to try these wines, along with some local food to complement. We started with the white, and it was a sensational start. Full of flavour, it reflects the hot sunny climate and is perfect to sip whilst watching the sun go down after a day of diving. Rose is not usually our wine of choice, but again we were amazed by how good this wine was. We were already wondering how we were going to get some of this wine home!
We moved onto the reds, and sampled them with a local cheese. Anthony clearly has a plan for Massar Winery, and that is to make quality wines, and again he blew us away with his reds. But his Garb is something else! This is a 16% red wine that has not been fortified, but the grapes are left on the vine for as long as possible maximizing the potential alcohol content of the Nero d'Avola grapes. Only 1000 bottles of this wine were made last year. As with all the wines, they are only available from the vineyard or at local restaurants. It is worth coming to Gozo just to try this wine. It is full of flavour, intense, complex and simply delicious. We had absolutely no weight allowance left, but we still had to buy some and keep our fingers crossed that we could get it home. We did - but it did no last long! We highly recommend a visit to the vineyard for a tour tasting and then to grab what you can to bring home from the shop.