Malbec is a wine that in the past decade seems to have appeared out of nowhere and become a must have for every wine enthusiast’s collection. A crowd favorite and smooth to sip on, with tons of fruit and juicy flavors and easy on the nose, we can’t imagine or go back to the time to when it actually didn’t exist. But how recent of a discovery actually is this “new” wine?
This secret blending grape was actually born in France as Mal Bouche (French for being Bad Mouth) back in the 1800’s. While it was being used as a blend for the popular French Bordeaux, this grape had tremendous potential to be the fine Malbec that we know today as. But as it goes, the Mal Bouche was untamable. The region of Cahors made one of the very first Malbec’s but its vulnerability to the climate did not do well with the French vintners who very easily lost their harvest due to disease and rot. The underestimated grape was planted less and less until it was only merely just a blending grape.
In the 19th century, Argentine wine makers were in the pursuit to find grapes that they could plant to improve the quality of their wine and consulted with a wise Frenchman by the name Michael Pouget who is known to have destined the future of this beloved grape called Malbec. He suggested to plant Malbec crop’s in Argentina specifically in Mendoza. This was a game changer as Mendoza's hot climate and desert terrain along with the high altitude helped the grape to thrive which made it shine and rise to glory. Many believe that this is when Malbec was finally brought to its promised land, and finally where it belonged all along.
A Century after it was transported across the seven seas Malbec was a polpular locally consumed wine and not much was heard of it outside of Argentina. As the wine advanced in its homeland the crops were doubled and tripled. And then when a financial crisis stroke the world in the early 2000s, economies flailed all over, the Bordeaux’s and Pinot Noirs of Europe were suddenly becoming unaffordable and this delectable grape shone in the spotlight. The Malbec has finally arrived!
Its popularity spread like a bush fire into every American home and dinner table. It was debuted by the people, not the connoisseurs and it was affordable and delicious! The ease of drinking and its androgynous personality that goes with or without food is what makes it a crowd pleaser..
Set against a beautiful backdrop of the Andean Mountains, Argentina's famed wine region Mendoza, is the hottest new wine destination for those seeking to indulge in the pleasures of the red varietal "Malbec". But is that all that Mendoza has to offer? Read below to see why else you need to Visit Mendoza and discover the preserved secrets of its viticulture and wine tastings.
1. WINE WINE WINE.. Yes the Malbec is the most beloved grape that thrives in the Sun Drenched Desert of Mendoza, however the lesser known secret grape "Torrontes" is the hottest thing to arrive from Argentina since the Tango. Often known as the deceiving grape it is floral, aromatic with a tart finish and it is Delicious! Mendoza also produces Bonarda and is a famous region for the Cabernet Franc grape. Need we say more, Mendoza is best tackled with a wine glass in hand..
2. Excellent Food..Nothing goes better hand in hand with a good glass of wine than a quality meal. Rapidly growing into a popular South American Foodie destination, the province offers tantalizing meals from the kitchens of world famous chefs like Francis Mallmann. From Picadas to 9 course meals even vegetarians can seek hedonism in this steak loving province.
3. Olives!! Olivo!! Olio!! Yes Mendoza is beyond just grapes. The desert climate is an incubator for the new found vegetation to this area. Unlike vino and the intricate process it requires to go from farm to bottle, olive oil can be processed within a couple of hours! Several wineries are branching out to offer olive tastings, and produce beautiful blends from freshly harvested olives.
4. Sports! No we are not talking about the world class standards of Argentinian football..Travelers have been flying from continents to continents just to arrive to the South American Summit native to Mendoza, Aconcagua, but the province now offers a different thrill for adventurers. In the summer the rafting rivers are filled with snow melt and thrill seekers can enjoy rafting activities among other activities like horse riding, zip lining, trekking, fishing, or paragliding and not to forget golf! In the winter, the snow capped mountains and slopes with the beautiful ski resorts are an attraction for cross country skiers.
5. History - The oasis in the desert, Mendoza was home to the Incas who built the irrigation system which is now a remarkable factor in this wine producing region and its wine heritage. Also, The flag raised by Argentine Hero Jose De San Martin who led his army across the Andes to emancipate Chile from Spanish colonization also lays in Mendoza.
6. Staying Among the Vines - Mendoza has several lavish resorts and estancias in wineries that display a beautiful backdrop of the Andes, and offer world class luxury and gastronomy. Sip a glass of wine, enjoy the views of the Andes and the serenity of the country while you are turned off from the hustle and bustle of the city.
7. Wine Inspired Spa & Relaxation - If you think sipping wine is fun, wait until you try a wine spa treatment. Indulge in the red grape body wrap which is said to have polyphenols that are said to cleanse and erase radicals from the skin.
8. The Vistas! A canvas for Artists and photographers, there is nothing in Mendoza not worth capturing. Surrounded with ample breathtaking scenery and views of rivers, mountains, hot springs, flora and fauna, Mendoza is sure to be a treat for your eyes!
9. Cooking - Empanadas, Casseroles, Grilled Meats, Pizzas, Pastas and so much more! With fresh & organic ingredients, learn to prepare several traditional Argentine dishes at famous restaurants and wineries that offer culinary classes.
10. Fiesta Nacional De La Vendimia - Although an event that arrives only Once a Year in early March, Vendimia the Grape Harvest Festival is a sensory overload of all fun things in one place at one time. Lots of Wine, Parades, Gauchos, Food, Music and so much More! What more reason do you need to visit??