What is considered Argentina's national red wine?
Malbec sometimes called “Côt” and “Auxxerois” is a tannic, thick-skinned grape natural from Montpellier in Languedoc-Rousillon and Gaillac in the southwest of France. Today the majority of France’s Malbec is found in Cahors, in the Bordeaux area.
The grape was first introduced in Argentina in the mid 19th century when provincial governor Domingo Faustino Sarmiento instructed the French agronomist Miguel Pouget to bring grapevine cuttings from France. Among the vines that Pouget brought were the very first Malbec vines to be planted in the country. Malbec was rediscovered in the late 20th century as the Argentine wine industry shifted its focus to premium wine production for export.
Jancis Robinson, Master of Wine, writer and a world-leading authority on the subject writes in "The Oxford Companion to Wine”, Third Edition, 2006" that "the most important producing country in South America, Argentina, is the fifth biggest wine producer in the world. The predominantly red wine grape variety in Argentina is one that has yet to achieve greatness in its original birthplace in the southwest of France. Malbec….has become Argentina’s vinous trademark”.
Malbec arose to greater prominence and is today the most widely planted red grape variety in Argentina. About 76,700 acres of a total of 100,000 acres of Malbec planted worldwide, are planted in Argentina, that is over 75% of the world production.
In Argentina, Malbec is considered its national -and traditional- red grape.