Gozitan wine merchant publication

Michael Refalo has just launched a book about Gozitan sailor Giuseppe (de)Brincat (1890-1930), who established himself as a wine merchant. The surviving correspondence, together with business ledgers, form the basis of Dr Refalo’s publication. Through an analysis of these primary sources readers are afforded a look into the personal and business dealings of an unknown Gozitan during a period when the island suffered from severe economic, cultural and social distress.

The book, Giuseppe (de)Brincat, examines the local wine scene as well as the personal, family circumstances of ‘the common man’. De Brincat corresponded regularly with his emigrated sons, keeping them updated on the outcome of the business as well as matters concerning family. During the book launch at the Gozo Public Library in Victoria, Dr Refalo said the biographical element in the writing was narrated against the background of Gozo’s social and economic conditions during the period. In particular, detailed reference is made to the production and sale of wine and the establishments from where this was sold, particularly Gozitan wine shops.

In fact, in his correspondence, Brincat made frequent reference to the grape harvest, to prices of the grape and of the wine and to the importation of the beverages from Spain, Sicily and Greece. Additionally, the correspondence refers to family matters.

During the book launch, photographs, ledgers, letters and other original documents were exhibited. A model of the brig Giuseppina  was also exhibited.

The book is being published by Kite Group.

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