A Look Into Ta’ Betta Wine Estates in Girgenti
Tucked away in Siġġiewi lies one of the most serene vineyards in Malta. A private estate and home to an exceptional quality of red wines, chardonnay and Rose’. Walking beyond the gates and onto the land of Ta’ Betta, you will first be greeted by five lovely dogs who know the rules of good behaviour. If the dogs don’t greet you first, Marie Chocquet, who runs the estate will be there right away to bring you in and show you around. Upon entering, you will find giant egg-shaped containers of various colours that are holding the red grapes for one year following the harvest as they turn from solids to liquids over that time. Further back you will find a spa room that showers and massages ever so gently the white grapes in order to make the highest quality chardonnay. In the back you can also find the aged oak barrels of various kinds of oak depending on the wine they are helping to age. Even the details of circles at the lower part of the oak barrels with anywhere from one to five circles punched in to let you know how many years each of the specific barrels have been aging the wine. Once it has served its five years, it is replaced with a new oak barrel. This helps them keep up with which barrel is made of what type of oak and for how long it has been fulfilling its purpose.
This land was acquired by Astrid and Juanito Camilleri and named for their daughter, Betta in 2002. There logo is of Betta herself leaning up to pick from the grapevine. By 2003 after cleaning up and preparing the land, the first grape trees were brought in from France. They brought in only the best to help them set up their winery and created fine wines with personality.
They take great pride in naming each wine and giving it its own distinct description based on the trees, the history, the land and any other defining characteristic the wine may possess. Right now, there are four signature wines:
1) The Isabella Guasconi, The flirtatious. She is a Syrah Rose’ with a dry, medium body who was fermented in the cast stone vats (the giant egg-shaped vats) and aged through an oak tonneaux which helps to give her a fresh and youthful taste and quality.
2) Jean Parisot. The tenacious. This is their signature Chardonnay made exquisitely special with a unique and difficult process that carries with it an apricot, white fig and vanilla which adds to its complexities and incredibly clean taste. This Chardonnay is the perfect balance of alcohol and acid. It is strong and clean yet subtle and very clear.
3) Antonio Manoel. The opulent. This is one of their mighty blends that has both Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. This flavour combines strawberry and red forest-fruit paired with undertones of caramel and chocolate. Talk about an experience when you taste this blend! It’s heaven and earth melting right on the tongue!
4) Philippe Villiers. The robust. This is a blend of Cabernet Franc and Syrah. The undertones of this wine combine forest-fruit with undertones of black and bell pepper and tobacco.
Even the bottles are so gorgeous all in black with the most iconic images to complete the look of sophistication, elegance and flavours that would ignite any wine connoisseur and novice alike.
Wine Tasting and Tours
Ta’ Betta is a private estate and wine tastings and tour groups are booked in a limited capacity, so make your plans early if you want to experience the different wines that the estate produces. Marie will be there to answer all your questions and take you through your wine experience.
The tasting room is located on the top floor and also the terrace of the winery with stunning views that overlook the Maltese countryside. While Marie walks you through the different wines and pairs them with the perfect appetizers, including olive oil also grown on the land, you can taste all of the wines and eat just the right amount to go with each.
Whether you are having visitors come, or you want a perfect date night out, Ta’ Betta is ideal.
Visit their website here.