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News - 26.04.12

Argentina Sparked the Largest Wine Celebration in the World: MALBEC WORLD DAY

The celebration promoted by Wines of Argentina included 72 events in 45 cities in 36 countries. The whole world joined in to honor Argentina’s flagship variety.

The second edition of Malbec World Day was celebrated last April 17 under the auspices of Wines of Argentina, the organization that promotes the image of Argentine wines around the world and originally set the date for the celebration.

On this occasion, the key celebrations took place in New York, Washington, Los Angeles and Seattle in the USA; Ottawa, Toronto, Victoria and Vancouver in Canada; in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Colombia, Peru, Mexico, Brazil, and Costa Rica; and in the city of Buenos Aires, in Argentina.

In addition, the Argentine Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Worship collaborated with WofA in the organization of various events – including tastings, tango shows and meals – that were held for journalists, buyers and special guests in more than 42 Argentine diplomatic representations around the world.

In the view of WofA’s authorities, the 2012 edition of Malbec World Day exceeded every expectation: “All the events we organized had excellent results. On April 17 we became a trending topic on Twitter in Argentina. More than 1000 reports were published by the main international media outlets, thus doubling our media impact last year. A hundred stores in Europe (in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands), and in Peru and Colombia also joined the celebrations by offering in-store promotions. “The whole world talked about our wines, and that fills us with pride,” said Alberto Arizu, President of WofA.

The celebrations held in Buenos Aires included a cocktail party at the Yacht Club Puerto Madero. Among the more than four hundred attendees were national, provincial and municipal authorities, ambassadors, journalists, celebrities and highly regarded personalities of the wine industry, who had the opportunity to enjoy a tango show with prestigious dancer Mora Godoy and her group and delight in an a cappella song by opera singer Verónica Cangemi, Argentine wine ambassador in the world.

Another event worth mentioning was held at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, organized in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Institute for Tourism Promotion. Seven hundred guests had the chance to taste wines produced by wineries from all the Argentine wine regions. Among the attendees were businesspeople and personalities in the field of art and culture, who enjoyed the homage paid to Malbec in this iconic Manhattan location. Argentine wines were also selected to accompany all the activities of the Tribeca Film Festival – organized by Robert De Niro –, which usually attracts an audience of more than 500,000 people. In addition, on Sunday April 22, 500 special guests tasted Argentine wines at City Winery, one of the few urban wineries in the world.

Wines of Argentina is responsible for the promotion of the brand VINO ARGENTINO around the world. Since 1993, this organization has been promoting the image of local wines abroad and providing advice on export strategies for Argentina by studying and analyzing trends in consumer markets. Its aim is to contribute to the consolidation of Argentina as one of the main wine exporting countries in the world and to the global success of the Argentine wine industry by enhancing its positive image in the wine trade, among opinion leaders and consumers.


Why April 17 Was the Chosen Date

Malbec originated in Bordeaux, in the southwest of France, where this variety was cultivated and whose resulting wines bore the name of their wine region: Cahors. These wines have enjoyed popularity since the times of the Roman Empire, consolidated their prestige in the Middle Ages, and gained full recognition in modern times.

The conquest of the English market was a crucial step for the success of Cahors wines in England and around 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 consolidated, and laid the foundation for the development of Argentine Malbec some time later. It was brought to our country in 1853 by the French Michel Aimé Pouget (1821-1875), an agronomist who was hired by Domingo Faustino Sarmiento to run the Quinta Normal of Mendoza.

After the model of France, this initiative 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 for the foundation of a Quinta Normal and a School of Agriculture was submitted to the Provincial Legislature. The House of Representatives enacted it as law on September 6 of the same year.

By the end of the 19th century, the winegrowing industry 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 became Argentina’s flagship variety.

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