Malbec was introduced to Argentina in the mid-19th century, when President Domingo Sarmiento hired the French agronomist Michel Pouget to run the school of agriculture in Mendoza. Pouget brought cuttings and seeds to plant, and so the cultivation of Malbec began.
The Malbec grape flourished, finding an ideal growing environment that has resulted in unprecedented levels of quality and the production of unique wines.
Today, Argentina is the largest producer of Malbec in the world and the fifth producer of wine worldwide, after France, Italy, Spain and the United States.
"The exports of Argentine fine wine to the United States have multiplied 10 times in the last decade, starting with US$ 20 million in 1998 to surpassing US$ 200 million in 2010," says Ambassador Luis Kreckler, Secretary of International Trade of the Argentine Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Worship.
"Argentina is also the fifth provider of wines to the United States, after Italy, France, Australia and Chile. In 2010, the total exports of Argentine wine to the whole world surpassed US$ 552 million, the USA being the main destination," continues Ambassador Kreckler, who is behind the events organized to celebrate the Malbec World Day.
April 17th was selected as Malbec World Day because of its historical significance. On this day in 1853, the bill to create the Quinta Agronomica, a government program to improve all aspects of Agriculture, including the national wine industry, was submitted to the Legislature of Mendoza. The date represents the transformation of Argentina's wine industry and the starting point for the development of Malbec as its flagship variety.
Malbec World Day events are taking place in: United States (New York; Napa Valley; Washington DC), Argentina (Buenos Aires; Mendoza), Brazil (Rio de Janeiro; San Pablo) Canada (Toronto), China (Beijing; Shanghai), Holland (Amsterdam), Japan (Tokyo), United Kingdom (London; Kent).
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
NEW YORKNew York Public Library Wine Tasting - April 14Hosted by the Consul General of Argentina in New York, Ambassador Jose Luis Perez-Gabilondo. Invitation-only VIP and press tasting at one of the city's cultural landmarks. 23 important Argentine wineries will participate as well the Chairman of Wines of Argentina and the Queen of the Harvest of the Province of Mendoza, and the Director of Argentina National Institute of Tourism Promotion.
Malbec Crush at City Winery - April 172-3 tons of Malbec grapes will be flown specially to City Winery in New York to produce a 2011 Malbec World Day wine. The same afternoon, City Winery will host an open tasting.
10th Annual Tribeca Film Festival - April 20 - May 11Wines of Argentina is the exclusive wine sponsor for the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival, providing wines for more than 130 events during the course of the festival.