What’s Malbec World Day and How Can You Celebrate?
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What’s Malbec World Day and How Can You Celebrate?

Written by
Vintage Cellars
April 11, 2018
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Malbec is arguably Argentina’s best wine variety and it’s gaining popularity around the world. Find out how you can celebrate Malbec World Day on April 17.

When you think of impressive wine regions around the world, you’re probably more likely to conjure images of Bordeaux rather than Mendoza. However,  this Argentinian province is recognised as one of the best producers of malbec. The success of Argentina’s wine industry can be traced back to the 1850s, when the country’s president, Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, committed to building a strong viticulture reputation. While many different vines were imported from France, malbec was the quiet achiever.


On the president’s orders, the Argentinian government made a request for Frenchman Michel Aimée Puget to deliver a selection of varieties for planting. While the historic French vines were thriving in Argentina, many of the vines in France withered when phylloxera swept through in 1863.


Today, Argentina is one of the few remaining countries with healthy stretches of heritage malbec vines. In 2011, Malbec World Day was officially held for the first time after Wines of Argentina, the organisation responsible for promoting the country’s wines to other continents, agreed the varietal deserved a place on the global food and wine calendar.


Malbec is grown throughout Argentina, from Salta in the north of the country right down to Patagonia in the south. In fact, so much of this variety is grown here that it accounts for 75 per cent of the world’s production.


Given malbec is made in so many different climates throughout the country, the final product can vary greatly.


Rising popularity


Similar to the way that malbec was neglected in France for decades before experiencing a resurgence in Argentina, the grape is now being championed in Australia. In regions like Clare Valley and Margaret River, these flavoursome red blends are celebrated for their weightiness and robust flavour. Thanks to the increasing popularity of bold malbecs imported from Argentina, like Catena Malbec, and a renewed focus among local producers, the grape's enjoying a resurgence.


Malbec was originally planted in Australia in the 19th century but didn’t rise to prominence until the quality of the grape improved a century later. It has been said that South Australia is the “spiritual home” of malbec – and now, with wine lovers looking for new and exciting varieties, it’s the wine of the moment. Why is it so popular? It could be because malbec is a nice alternative to the popular shiraz, but with a bit more of an intense berry push. Many varieties fade in and out of fashion, but this is one renaissance we’re excited about.


How to celebrate Malbec World Day


The event is not just a celebration of the wine itself, but its part in Argentinian history and culture. Across the country people will come together to celebrate food, music and conversation, all while sipping the nation’s best variety. After Malbec World Day was first celebrated in 2011, other countries soon joined the party.


By 2012, cities such as New York and Toronto held crushing parties to produce a malbec that would be consumed at future Malbec World Day events. The day is now recognised in more than 60 cities globally.


Of course, if you’d rather sip this variety in a quieter setting, choose a bottle such as the Mendoza-grown Tilia Malbec to share at home with family or friends. This red is full of fruit and spice flavours – the perfect wine to pair with an Argentinean barbeque feast.


Malbec World Day is held on April 17, 2018.