Argentina on April 17th will celebrate Malbec World Day, which is dedicated to the country’s wines. Created by the “Wines of Argentina” organization, this sixth year’s motto “Celebrating a classic” emphasises how Malbec has become a classic.
Hundreds of events will be held in 70 cities across 54 countries, with the support of the Argentine Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The city of Athens will join Buenos Aires, Mendoza, Bogotá, Calgary, Toronto, New York, Lima, Sao Paulo and London in a program of celebrations that will revolve around conceptual events for consumers, wine fairs for the press, food and wine tastings and promotional activities in wine shops and restaurants.
The Embassy of Argentina in Athens on Sunday, April 17th at 20:30 will hold a wine tasting event at the “Scala Vinoteca” restaurant (50, Sina street, Kolonaki – central Athens). Special Argentine wines will be available along with delicacies by chef Dimitris Kontopoulos.
April 17: The reason for the chosen date
The origin of Malbec can be found in the southwest of France, where people have been cultivating this grape and making wines with the appellation of “Cahors” since the days of the Roman Empire. These wines began to establish themselves 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 Argentina country in 1853 from the hands of Michel Aimé Pouget (1821-1875), a French agronomist that Domingo Faustino Sarmiento hired to carry out the direction 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.
Wines of Argentina is the organisation responsible for the brand VINO ARGENTINO in the world. Since 1993, the organisation has promoted the image of regional wines abroad, and helped guide the export strategy of Argentina, studying and analysing the changes that occur in consumer markets. Its aim is to be instrumental in the consolidation of Argentina among the major wine exporting countries in the world and contribute to the overall success of the wine industry, raising the positive perception in the trade of opinion leaders and consumers.
SOURCE: Embassy of Argentina/Wines of Argentina
PHOTO: Wines of Argentina