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News - 10.04.12

Celebrating Malbec World Day!

Wines of Argentina, the organization responsible for the image of Argentine wine worldwide, is hosting Malbec World Day 2012 on April 17.

This time, the main celebrations will take place in New York, Washington, Los Angeles and Seattle in the USA. Canadian cities such as Ottawa, Toronto, Victoria and Vancouver will also participate in the celebrations, as will the UK, the Netherlands, Colombia, Peru, Mexico, Brazil, Costa Rica and Buenos Aires City, in Argentina.

In collaboration with the Argentine Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Worship, the events will be held in over 42 locations around the world, featuring tastings, tango performances and food, with the attendance of journalists, buyers and special guests.

According to WofA authorities, the wineries that participated and the Argentine Chancellery, Malbec World Day 2011 was a roaring success and not only strengthened Malbec and Argentina’s positioning in 46 cities from 33 different countries, but also motivated an increase in sales of this varietal in particular and of Argentine wine in general. Malbec export income, it is worth mentioning, rose 11,4% in FOB with respect to 2010.  Likewise, premium wine exports showed a 32.2% increase in growth for the USD 40 and USD 90 segment (9-liter cases), and a 40.7 % increase for 9-liter cases worth over USD 90.

President of Wines of Argentina Alberto Arizu Jr. stated: “These figures can only validate our strategy at Wines of Argentina, which basically involves using Malbec as the door to open world markets while positioning the country brand as a premium wine producer. Our aim is for consumers to immerse themselves in the diversity of our wines starting with Malbec, the best of our credentials.”

The events programmed for Buenos Aires City will include a cocktail party at Puerto Madero’s Yacht Club, tastings of Malbec from a variety of wine regions and a tango performance featuring worldly-acclaimed dancer Mora Godoy and her company. Simultaneously, key points across Buenos Aires City like the Obelisk, Puente de la Mujer, Dam 4 canal in Puerto Madero and Monumento de los Españoles will be lit up in Malbec color.

Wines of Argentina is the organization responsible for promoting the brand Vino Argentino and the image of Argentine wines abroad, in addition to guiding their export strategy through careful study and analysis of the changes taking place in consumer markets. Seeking to enhance its positive image in the wine trade and among opinion leaders and consumers, Wines of Argentina’s goal is to help Argentina establish itself among the leading wine exporting countries in the world and contribute to the global success of the wine industry.

Why April 17 Was the Chosen Date

Malbec originated in the southwest of France, where this variety was cultivated and whose resulting wines, named “from Cahors” after the region, have enjoyed increasing recognition since the times of the Roman Empire. Their prestige became consolidated in the Middle Ages and they gained full recognition in modern times.

The conquest of the English market was a crucial step for this variety to become appreciated in England and the world. When phylloxera destroyed French viticulture towards the end of the 19th century, the “Cot” fell into oblivion. However, a culture of appreciation of Malbec had already become consolidated, and laid the foundations for the development of Argentine Malbec some time later. It was brought to our country by Michel Aimé Pouget (1821-1875) from France, an agronomist who was hired by Domingo Faustino Sarmiento to run the Quinta Agronómica de Mendoza.

After the French model, this Quinta Normal sought to incorporate new varietals as a way to boost the national wine industry. On April 17 1853, with the support of Mendoza’s governor, Pedro Pascual Segura, a bill was submitted to the Provincial Legislature for the foundation of a Quinta Normal and a School of Agriculture. The bill was enacted as law by the House of Representatives on September 6 1853.

By the end of the 19th century, viticulture experienced an exponential development in the hands of Italian and French immigrants, and so did Malbec, which adapted quickly to the varied terroirs offered by our geography and developed even better than in its original land. In this way, over the course of time and after a lot of hard work, Malbec came to be Argentina’s flagship variety.

The efforts made by Pouget and Sarmiento for the Quinta Normal of Mendoza played a key role in that process. To Wines of Argentina, April 17 not only represents the transformation of Argentina’s wine industry but it is also the starting point for the development of Malbec as the iconic variety and international flagship of Argentina’s viticulture.