Malbec World Day (MWD) takes place on the 17th April each year and took place for the first time in 2011. It is a concept that was created by Wines of Argentina with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Trade of Argentina. It is a day dedicated entirely to promoting the Malbec grape variety and its wines. Malbec World Day sees a whole range of tasting and wine event across the globe – in 2013, 106 events were held in 76 cities across 50 countries and there are even more planned for 2014.
Malbec World Day is also associated with Street Art and street artist including Run Don’t Walk, Jaz, Pum Pum, Panama Club, Planet Cees, Cekis and Clandestinos have created murals and street artworks in Mendoza, San Pablo, New York and London. As the Wines Of Argentina website says, “On this occasion Wines of Argentina has decided to highlight Malbec as an artistic and cultural expression and connect it with the communicative force of street art. Malbec will flood the streets around the world.”
Why is Malbec World Day held on April 17th?
On April 17th 1853 a bill was submitted by the President, Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, to the Argentine government for the foundation of Quinta Normal and a school of agriculture. This bill was a key step in the early days of Argentina’s viticultural history and in transforming the Argentine wine industry. Sarmiento charged French agronomist Michel Aimé Pouget with the task of bringing new vines to Argentina. One of the grape varieties he introduced was Malbec in 1868. The rest, they say, is history.
Malbec was first planted in the Lot Valley in South West France nearly 2000 years ago.
Malbec was introduced to Argentina in 1868 by French agronomist Michel Aimé Pouget.
Malbec was grown in 30 wine growing regions of France, today it is mainly found in Bordeaux and Cahors – it is still one of 6 red grape varieties allowed in the red Bordeaux wine.
Plantings of Malbec in France were decimated twice, once in 1889 by phylloxera and once on 1956 by a severe frost, after which a lot of vines were not replanted.
In Cahors, Malbec is often known as “Black Wine” due to its dark purple / black colour.
There are over 1000 synonyms for the Malbec grape variety including Auxerrois, Cot or Cot Noir, Pressac, Quercy, Agreste, Cahors, Gourdaux, Noir de Pressac, Teinturin et al.
Today Argentina has the largest surface area planting of Malbec vines followed, in decreasing size, by France, Chile, California, Washington, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, British Columbia, New York (Long Island), Oregon, Bolivia, Italy, Texas and Ontario.