Malbec & Argentina
As we are sure you know, Argentina leads the world in Malbec production! With 109,686 acres dedicated to this grape variety it represents 38.6% of the total red varieties and 22.4% of the country’s total cultivated area. Since 2000, Malbec has seen a remarkable increase in surface area, growing by 171%, equivalent to 69,290 acres!
Originally a European variety, Malbec found a new home in Argentina and was extensively planted, eventually becoming the country’s flagship grape. As an immigrant varietal, it has thrived in the diverse terroirs of Argentina’s viticultural regions, adapting and exploring new possibilities.
Malbec is truly the heavyweight champion of Argentine wine. It has become an emblematic case where a country is directly associated with a grape variety, rescuing it from obscurity and setting a paradigm in the global wine scene. Thanks to the Argentine wine industry’s efforts, Malbec has revealed its true potential, showcasing its versatility, elegance, and opulence, and becoming the centerpiece of innovative winemaking over the last two decades.
Argentina has established a controlled designation of origin (DOC) for Malbec in certain regions, ensuring that the name of the area is protected and requiring producers to maintain high quality standards in their wines. Malbec Luján de Cuyo was the first Denomination of Origin (DOC) in the Americas.
To celebrate the success of the national wine industry and position Argentine Malbec as one of the world’s finest, Wines of Argentina has created a global initiative called Malbec World Day. This annual event aims to highlight the prominence of Argentine Malbec and promote it as a premium wine on the world stage.
The Origins of Malbec
The origins of Malbec can be traced back to the southwest region of France, where this grape has been cultivated and used to make wines with the appellation of “Cahors” since the days of the Roman Empire. These wines gained popularity during the Middle Ages and have continued to thrive in modern times.
The conquest of the English market was a pivotal moment in elevating the reputation of this grape in England and around the world. However, in the late 19th century, the French vineyards were devastated by the phylloxera plague, causing the “Côt” (as Malbec was known in France) to be forgotten, but a culture of appreciation for Malbec persisted during this time.
Why is Malbec World Day celebrated on April 17?
Later, Malbec found its way to Argentina. In 1853, it was brought to the country by Michel Aimé Pouget (1821-1875), a French agronomist who was commissioned by Argentine journalist, politician, and statesman Domingo Faustino Sarmiento to manage the Agricultural Quinta de Mendoza. Following the model of France, which aimed to enhance the national wine industry by introducing new grape varieties, a project was presented to the Provincial Legislature on April 17, 1853, to establish a Quinta Normal and Agricultural School, which was approved later that year with the support of the governor of Mendoza, Pedro Pascual Segura.
With the help of Italian and French immigrants in the late 19th century, the wine industry in Argentina grew exponentially, and Malbec quickly adapted to the diverse terroirs of the country, producing even better results than in its region of origin. Through hard work and dedication, Malbec emerged as the flagship grape of Argentina, gaining recognition worldwide.
April 17 holds significant meaning for Wines of Argentina, as it symbolizes the transformation of Argentina’s wine industry and marks the beginning of the development of Malbec as an emblematic grape for the country on the global stage.
Shop Our Range of Malbec
We have around 40 Malbecs to enjoy – from white, rose and traditional red Malbec – there is something for everyone’s palate and pocket.