Malbec is a wine with origins from the Middle Ages (from 5th to 15th century). It was largely planted on the soils in southwest France, but it was not always known as Malbec. In its long and rich history, it was called by a hundred of names and it was largely consumed all over France. Not only this French wine has become one of the most popular wines over the world, but Malbec wine has become a synonymous wine for Argentina. It really is strange how has this happened, making the story of Malbec a very interesting one.
Malbec is a grape variety that has been all around the world in the history. In some countries, it is still known by some of its old names, such as Pressac, Auxerrois, Cot, etc. However, the place where Malbec was born is the town of Cahors, southwest France, which is about 200 km from Bordeaux. The Malbec wine has been planted in vast amounts in Ukraine, Australia, Chile, California and Argentina, where it has built its current reputation.
In its earliest years, the Malbec wine was characterized for a dark colour and fruity aromas. It was described as the black wine from Cahors. Peter the Great, the Tsar of Russia (1672 – 1725), was the first to import the Malbec wine to Russia, where it was happily accepted and adopted by the Greek Orthodox Church. But Malbec has had its highs and lows. It was the wine of kings and popes only in the late Middle Ages. When everything was hinting the end of Malbec wine, the wine has stopped at Santiago de Chile.
In the 18th century, the Chilean valleys have become a promising land of wines, similar to French valleys. The idea of those in charge was success, which has been brought back to Argentina. Soon Malbec vine was planted throughout all Argentina and it was cultivated with a special care. Over the years, it was adapted to each region, depending on the climate and the soil. And after all those years, Malbec wine is today a synonym for Argentina, regardless of its French origins.
The reason why Malbec wine is known as Argentinian more than French is because Argentina is the country where varieties of this vine were discovered. From 1990 to present day, over 25,000 hectares of Malbec have been planted in Argentina. In the last year, Argentina had a total of 38,000 cultivated Malbec vines, which is more than in other country in the world.