Malbec in Argentina
Argentina is the main producer of Malbec. With 109,686 acres, Malbec represents 38.6% of the total red varieties and 22.4% of the total cultivated area in the country (INV - 12/31/2019). It is the variety that has increased the most in surface area: since 2000 it has increased by 171% (equivalent to 69,290 ac).
A European variety that, after a crisis, arrived in Argentina and was planted extensively, eventually becoming the country's flagship grape. An immigrant varietal that explored and adapted to the terroirs of the different viticultural regions of the country.
Malbec is the undisputed heavyweight of Argentina. It is about an emblematic case in which a country achieves direct association with a varietal, rescues it from oblivion and marks a paradigm in the global wine scene. It was thanks to the impulse of the Argentine wine industry that Malbec revealed its true potential: its versatility, elegance and opulence, becoming the center of the most audacious innovations during the last twenty years.
Argentina has a controlled designation of origin (DOC) for Malbec in some regions, which protects the name of the area and forces producers to maintain a high level of quality in their wines. Malbec Luján de Cuyo was the first Denomination of Origin (DOC) of America.
Malbec World Day is a global initiative created by Wines of Argentina that seeks to position Argentine Malbec as one of the most prominent in the world and celebrate the success of the national wine industry. This celebration is supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Argentine Agency for Investment and International Trade and the Argentine Wine Corporation (COVIAR), and is framed within the Viticultural Strategic Plan Argentina 2020.
Celebrated for the first time on April 17, 2011, Malbec World Day or known as MWD has managed to position itself as an historic and cultural event in the global promotion of wine and today is part of an international calendar of celebrations. Every year, throughout the month, Wines of Argentina foresees a varied agenda of activities in the main focus markets, added to events organised by the Argentine representations abroad and independent initiatives.
Why is Malbec World Day celebrated on April 17?
The origins of Malbec can be traced back to the region of the southwest of France. Here they have been cultivating this grape and making wines with the appellation of "Cahors" since the days of the Roman Empire. These wines became more popular during the Middle Ages and have become stronger and stronger in modern times.
The conquest of the English market was a crucial step in the evaluation of this grape in England and the world. By the late nineteenth century, the phylloxera plague had destroyed the French vineyards, so the "Côt" had been forgotten, leaving, however, a culture of appreciation emerged for Malbec during this time.
Sometime later, Malbec Argentino appeared. This variety arrived in our country in 1853 in the hands of Michel Aimé Pouget (1821-1875), a French agronomist who was commissioned by Argentine journalist, politician and statesman, Domingo Faustino Sarmiento to carry out the management of the Agricultural Quinta de Mendoza.
Michel Aimé Pouget (1821-1875)
Modelled on France, the initiative proposed adding new grape varieties as a means to enhancing the national wine industry. On April 17, 1853, with the support of the governor of Mendoza, Pedro Pascual Segura, a project was presented to the Provincial Legislature, with a view to establishing a Quinta Normal and Agricultural School. This project was approved by the House of Representatives on 6 September that same year.
In the late nineteenth century with the help of Italian and French immigrants, the wine industry grew exponentially and with it, Malbec, which quickly adapted to the various different terroirs, and developed with even better results than in its region of origin. Thus, over time and with a lot of hard work, it emerged as the flagship grape of Argentina.
The 17th of April is not only a symbol of the transformation of Argentina's wine industry, but also the starting point for the development of this grape, an emblem for our country worldwide.