Recognized every year on the 17th of April, World Malbec Day transcends a mere date on the calendar. World Malbec Day was created by Wines of Argentina (WofA) in 2011, and is supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Argentina Agency for Investment and International Trade, and the Argentina Wine Corporation (COVIAR). It’s an annual homage to #MalbecArgentino in honor of a wine with Argentine authenticity and global success.
World Malbec Day kicks off with a month-long online campaign in partnership with various lifestyle and media brands. On April 17, join a live Twitter chat led by Li Valentine (@TheWiningHour) with the hashtags #MalbecWorldDay, #MalbecArgentino and #WiningHourChat. WofA will showcase five Malbecs that reflect Argentine culture.
Though Malbec originated in Europe, the grape emigrated to South America, finding a permanent home in Argentina. Today, the country accounts for 70% of the world’s Malbec vineyards. Malbec has become synonymous with this beautiful, richly cultured country, and Argentina has become synonymous with this lush, fruity wine.
Malbec first alighted in Argentina in the 19th century. A visionary, later to become president, Domingo Faustino Sarmiento took an interest in grapes, having grown up in San Juan’s vine country. Sarmiento asked French grape specialist Miguel Pouget to bring French grapevine cuttings to Argentina. Among others, Pouget brought Malbec, an act that forever changed Argentina’s destiny.
April 17, 1853 was the day local officials in Mendoza approved the region’s first agronomy school. The purpose: to study noble European grapes, including Malbec.
By the early 20th century, Malbec had established a foothold in Argentina’s wine industry. The country’s arid, warm climate allowed Malbec to thrive from top to bottom. In fact, the distance between the northernmost vineyards in Jujuy to the southernmost in Chubut is 1430 miles, the distance between Edinburgh and Marrakech. Malbec grows at elevations ranging from 1900 feet up to an astonishing 10,921 feet in Jujuy province.
Today, Mendoza, San Juan, and Salta are considered the three main growing regions, though most consumers know the styles of Malbec from Mendoza.
Mendoza’s hot and dry climate moderated by elevation and the Andes Mountains, lets Malbec live its best life. Without worries of disease or failure to ripen, especially around Argentina’s original appellation Luján de Cuyo, the grape blossoms into a spicy, velvety wine packed with flavor. Easy to love, Malbec won the hearts of global wine drinkers.
The Uco Valley sits an hour south of the city of Mendoza but feels a world away. Beautiful wineries set to the backdrop of the magnificent Andes produces wine from cooler, higher-elevation vineyard sites. The resulting wines are stylistically different, capturing more acidity and floral aromas, and developing firmer tannins, beneficial for aging.
Malbec, like the culture of Argentina, has many faces. The grape, however, reflects the best of the country’s personality. From the sensual dance of tango, the rough-and-tumble sport of football (soccer), to delicious hand-pinched empanadas and the social open-fire barbecues called asado .
Malbec may be deeply Argentine, but it’s a wine that’s universal, enjoyed worldwide on many occasions.
So, order a bottle of Malbec and celebrate World Malbec Day online. Toast to health and prosperity. Toast to a wine that unites. Cheers to #MalbecArgentino.