Summon your inner Dionysus and pour yourself a glass of your finest red – it’s time to talk about wine! Marsovin, staple of local vino, turned 100 this year and that calls for a trip down memory lane.
They’ve unearthed a bunch of photos that tell the story of Marsovin, and celebrate how far the brand has come since launching a century ago.
The idea to start a local wine merchant business came to a young Anthony Cassar in the year 1919
Anthony, also known as Tonin, joined forces with his brother Ġorġ to venture into the wine business. Back then, most of the wine consumed in Malta was imported from Greece, Italy and Sicily.
The grapes were originally pressed by foot, until the brother eventually invested in specific wine-pressing machinery. Once fermented, the wine was transferred into wooden barrels and delivered by horse-drawn carriage. The wine was first only delivered to the Cassars’ home town of Qormi, and eventually expanded to Żebbuġ and Siġġiewi.
Around the 1930’s, Tonin’s son Joe joined the business and it was officially given the name of ‘Anthony Cassar & Son’.
Eventually, they took on the name Marsovin (derived from Marsa – where the mill was located – and vino), and Tonin’s son Joe took over the business.
Between the 1950’s and late 1960s, Joe revolutionised the process of wine-making in Malta
Temperature control was introduced for the first time in Malta, an essential move considering the island’s climate, and hygiene on-location was increased.
But Joe’s true revolution came when he stepped away from delivering wine in wooden barrels, and introduced glass wine bottles for the first time. In time he began to brand the bottles with Marsovin labels, and introduced some swanky new Marsovin delivery trucks.
Eventually, the winery moved into the hands of the third generation of Cassars
With Joe’s son Tony taking over while still in his 20s. This period saw a rapid improvement in the quality of the wine in an attempt to compete with the high demand for international wines and imports.
Tony was also responsible for purchasing a whole load of estates all over Malta and Gozo where grapes were grown and harvested. These estates include venues like Marsaxlokk, Wardija, Burmarrad, and Ramla Valley in Gozo.
A century later, Marsovin is still being run by the family who started it all those years ago
With Tony’s son Jeremy currently at the head of the company. To celebrate their 100th, Marsovin released a special edition anniversary wine. The very best of Marsovin’s grapes, vines and terroir, have been brought together to create the wine. The desire to nurture the winery’s exceptional qualities has shaped Marsovin’s philosophy over the past 100 years.
This wine is a cuvée of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, and Ġellewża Imqadded, a faithful expression of a unique blend developed to portray the very best of the 2017 vintage harvest. They’ve also commissioned renowned Maltese writer Victor Calleja to write a book about the history of Marsovin from inception to date.
To get your hands on a bottle of the commemorative wine or a copy of the book, click here. And in the meantime, grab yourself your favourite bottle of Marsovin wine and pour one out in celebration.