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News - 05.03.18

MWD 2018: Discovering Argentine Malbec beyond the limits of what is known

For the eighth consecutive year, Wines of Argentina, the institution responsible for the global promotion of the “Vino Argentino" brand, is organising the launch of a new edition of Malbec World Day, to be held in April. As with every year, the principle cities of the world are preparing to entertain the flagship strain of Argentina with a display of educational, artistic and gastronomic activities that will celebrate Argentine Malbec.

In a country where the winemaking tradition is as deeply rooted in the culture as tango, football or asado, Malbec has won its place as an ambassador, becoming the flagship grape of Argentina par excellence. A classic varietal, known the world over, it is constantly being reinvented by a restless generation of agronomists and winemakers willing to take Malbec beyond the limits of the imagination. Under the slogan "Malbec Argentino: You know me and you don’t" this edition will put the accent on the richness and diversity of a variety whose potential is yet to be discovered.

Malbec World Day is a global initiative that seeks to position Argentine Malbec in the world and celebrate the success of our wine industry. Since its first edition, on April 17, 2011, this celebration has achieved remarkable success thanks to the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs  and the Argentine Wine Corporation, and is within the Plan Estratégico Vitivinícola Argentina 2020.

In the last decade Argentine viticulture has turned its gaze to terroir to understand its influence on wines, and in this ambitious challenge, Malbec has been the key: it became the tool for understanding each terroir and interpreting the differences. Malbec grew from 10 thousand hectares to 40 thousand in the 25 years from 1990 to 2015, reaching 57% of the total wine exported. This opened the door to the discovery of an inexhaustible range of Malbec profiles associated with terroir. A new generation has pushed the wine border westward, up into the mountains, and south and east, seeking the cold of the southern latitudes and the influence of the ocean.

While the line of a thousand metres defines a style of Malbec with ripe fruit and spices, good body and voluminous tannins, the new frontier offers a profile of fresh and floral fruit, medium to full bodied with juicy tannins and an abundance of freshness. An unexplored universe for a world-recognised strain.

Throughout the years the celebrations of MWD have taken over the streets completely as an artistic and cultural expression. The world has vibrated to the rhythm of Malbec which, like its flavour, is indomitable, intense and vigorous. A varietal that has been compared to cinematography by involving art and industry in its creative process. A wine that is enjoyed again and again until it becomes a classic and the heart of Argentina. However, there is still much more Malbec to discover: “Malbec Argentino: You know me and you don’t".

The global celebrations provide a comprehensive agenda that includes conceptual activities for consumers, wine fairs for press and trade, seminars by prestigious industry leaders, tastings and promotions in wine bars and restaurants.

Why is World Malbec Day celebrated on April 17th?

The origin of Malbec can be found in 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 strain in England and the world. By the late nineteenth century, the phylloxera plague had destroyed the French vineyards, so the "Cot" was forgotten, leaving, however, a culture of appreciation for Malbec.

Some time later, Malbec Argentino appeared. This strain arrived in our country in 1853 in the hands of Michel Aimé Pouget (1821-1875), a French agronomist who was hired by Domingo Faustino Sarmiento to carry out the management of the Agricultural Quinta de Mendoza.

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 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 management of Pouget and Sarmiento in the Quinta Normal de Mendoza was a crucial part of this process. The 17th of April is, for Wines of Argentina, not only a symbol of the transformation of Argentina's wine industry, but also the starting point for the development of this strain, an emblem our country worldwide.