Wine Law

The Wine Industry Regulation in Malta: A Legal Perspective Michael Tanti-Dougall 1 Introduction; 2. Grape Varieties in Maltese Islands; 3. Legislative Framework; 3.1. The Wine Act; 3.2. Legal Notice No. 167 of 2007, “IĠT Wines Production Protocols Regulations”; 3.3. Legal Notice No. 416 of 2007, “DOK Wines Production Protocols Regulations”. 1. INTRODUCTION Over the centuries, the wine-producing industry on the islands of Malta and Gozo was deemed to have been a successful story, with its leading labels being sought after by both Maltese and foreigners. The industry was given a further boost when it was brought in line with the European legislation on the Indikazzjoni Ġeografika Tipika (“Typical Geographical Indication”, hereinafter IĠT) and the Denominazzjoni Ta’ Oriġini Kontrollata (“Controlled Designation of Origin”, hereinafter DOK) certification implemented in 2007 by means of two separate Legal Notices 2 under the “Wine Act” 3 (Chapter 536 of the Laws of Malta), with several labels having been awarded the relative certification which manifestly demonstrates and confirms that the art of wine-making on the local scenario has produced fine wines of a superior quality. Indeed, on 15 December 2007, referred to as a historic day for the Maltese wine industry, 17 labels produced by five local vintners, received the DOK certification, with the IĠT certification following accordingly. 1 Senior Partner at Advocates, Tanti-Dougall & Associates, Adv. Dr Michael Tanti-Dougall (b. 1960) is a practising lawyer. He has a passion for producing wine from locally harvested grapes, mostly Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, together with his business associate, for their very own wine bar. 2 Legal Notice No. 167 of 2007, entitled “IGT Wines Production Protocols Regulations”, specifically for regulating the IĠT, and Legal Notice No. 416 entitled “DOK Wines Production Protocols Regulations”, specifically for regulating the DOK, which was subsequently amended in part by another Legal Notice No. 168 of 2011, entitled “DOK Wines Production Protocols (Amendment) Regulations”. 3 The Wine Act, Chapter 436 of the Laws of Malta was enacted on 21 June 2002 as subsequently amended.