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Ancient Wine presses carved out of rock in Malta

In the Gozitan valley in Malta, Wine presses which date back to 500BC, were carved into rock.

He explained how the presses, dug into the ground, were made of a shallow basin upon which an additional structure was mounted to press the grapes.

The juices would flow into the deeper basin and this motion was aided by the fact that the presses were built on an incline. Similar presses are present in Malta in the M?arr Valley in and near Mnajdra, in an area known as Misqa tanks.

Such presses have also been identified in various parts of the world such as Portugal, Spain, Italy, France, Greece, Turkey, Palestine, Syria and South Africa.

Mr Pace elaborated that winemakers would have minimised losses through seepage by first filling the basins with water so the rock would soak up the water. Excess water would then be removed shortly before pressing.

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