Malbec World Day
Malbec World Day is celebrated on April 17, to commemorate the day when president Domingo Faustino Sarmiento of Argentina officially made it his mission to transform Argentina's wine industry. On that day, back in 1853, he tasked Michel Aimé Pouget, a French soil expert, to bring over new vines. Amongst his selection, was Malbec. Pouget continued experimenting with the adaptation of French varietals to Argentina’s diverse terroirs. A decade later, France underwent a Phylloxera Plague that affected the Rhône region. The name, "Malbec World Day", translates from the Spanish "Día Mundial del Malbec" meaning "Malbec throughout the world". Somehow, the name stuck and continues to confuse English speakers to this day, as most just end up calling it "World Malbec Day", or "Malbec Mondo" for those who like the alliteration. In the mean time, Malbec flourished in Argentina creating wines widely superior to those of its country of origin. Many decades later, in 1956, France faced another obstacle: a freeze wiped out the majority of Malbec vineyards.
In the following years, specifically during the '90s, Argentina positioned Malbec as their star varietal. More than 10.000 acres were planted and it became the undeniable leader of the country’s exportations. Wine lovers around the world, especially in the United States, discovered and praised Argentine Malbec.
In 2011, Wines of Argentina, responsible for communicating the Argentine wine brand around the world, established April 17 as Malbec World Day. Lis Clément, their Head of Marketing and Communications at the time, founded this day because she was convinced this celebration would help position Malbec as one of Argentina’s wine gems. Excellent quality, ever surprising and diverse, Argentina’s Malbec would lead the way to position Argentina as one of the main oenological centers of the world.
Nowadays, more than 60 cities around the world (coordinated by the Foreign Affairs Office of Argentina) host events around Malbec, Argentine food and lifestyle. Each year, a theme is created to link Malbec and Argentine culture. This framework allows every celebration to be creative and adapt to each country’s idiosyncrasy. Malbec was first planted in France, then reached its highest point of development in Argentina and is currently travelling the world over to manifest itself as one of the key players in the international wine industry.
The cities of New York City, Toronto and Ottawa simultaneously hosted "crushing parties" with Argentine grapes, with the intention of producing a special Malbec wine, which will be used for toasting at the 2012 edition of the Malbec World Day.
On Saturday, April 16, 2011, Wines of Argentina held a cocktail party at Tupungato Winelands for 150 people, who were there to toast with Malbec from three hot-air balloons floating at 30 meters of height.
The National Public Library was lit with burgundy lights and the Malbec World Day logotype. (April 14, 2011), Gary Vaynerchuk hosted a private VIP tasting on April 14, and the Tribeca Film Festival provided Argentine wines for the more than 130 events held in the framework of the festival.
On April 19, 2011, twelve Malbecs from different regions and various price segments were presented, combined with a menu by Master Sommelier Evan Goldstein.
Tastings and wine food pairings with iYellow Wine Club, a closing event at the National Arts Centre on April 19, 2011, with the presence of Argentine wine representatives and managers of city restaurants; and the promotion of Argentine Malbec wines in city restaurants during the week of April 17 to 23.
Argentine Malbec was offered at special prices and there were tastings for guest of Ottawa Restaurants on April 16 and 17 with the collaboration of Wines of Argentina and the Argentine Embassy in Canada.
Two of the largest retailers in UK were promoting Argentine wines from the main regions: Salta, San Juan, Mendoza and Patagonia. Promotions, direct sales, internet and in-store sales and tastings were some of the activities.
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