Tag Archive for: History

The Malbec Grape

The big day is 17th April!

Malbec with no added sulphites

Malbec with no added sulphites

Domingo Faustino Sarmiento (the 7th president of Argentina) is the man to thank.  In 1853 he decided it was time to kick the Argentinian wine industry into action!  On the 17th April 1853 he submitted a proposal which would put Argentina on the world wine map.

It was that year, 1853, that the Malbec grape was introduced to Argentina.  10 years later the Phylloxera plague started killing off vines all across Europe and the Malbec vines in the Southern Rhone were taking a real battering.  Whilst that was happening, the vines in Argentina were adapting to the varied soil types and were starting to produce Malbec wines which were better than those from its homeland of France.

By the 1950s, Argentina was the only country left growing original Malbec vines of French origin.  The Malbec wines of France were hard and tannic, and the wine was quite often used for blending – just a small percentage added to other grape varieties to give those wines some tannic structure.

The Malbec wines of Argentina (especially the Mendoza region) are world famous, the wines are fruity, approachable, well balanced and offer a spectrum of styles.  From light and fruity to the more serious wines, aged in oak and with much raging potential.

Argentina is now easily the biggest Malbec producer in the world with 76,600 acres of vineyards planted across the country, followed next by France’s 13,100 acres.

So, it’s time to crack open a bottle and raise a glass to the Argentinians for the amazing transformation of this world class grape variety.

You can view our Malbec wines on our website here >

We often show Malbec wines at our wine tasting events, if you fancy a fun evening with your friends or event a get together with your colleagues then we would be happy to tell you all about our wine tasting events, simply get in touch.

On 26th January 1788 the first fleet of British ships landed at Sydney Cove, New South Wales.  The Governor, Arthur Philip, raised the British flag and a nation was born.Old Aussie Winemaking

On those first ships the team had the wonderful forethought to bring along some vine cuttings from the Cape of Good Hope.  Sadly the cultivation of those vines failed, but with huge perseverance the first wines were available domestically by the 1820s – “good on ya’!”.

They were obviously beavering away as in 1822, for the first time, an international award for winemaking was given to an Australian.

Once the ‘terroir’ and climate had become more familiar the quality of the wines being produced rocketed.  At the 1873 Vienna Exhibition the French judges praised some wines from Victoria in a blind tasting.  Once the provenance of the wine was revealed they withdrew their comments in protest stating that ‘wines of that quality must clearly be french’!

View our Australia Day offers here >

Imagine a world without wine…there are many people in the world who don’t appreciate that the wonderful nectar nearly didn’t make it through the 1800s.phylloxera

In the 1850s there was a world epidemic which killed nearly all of the worlds vineyards.  This almost microscopic, pale yellow, evil sap sucking insect is called Phylloxera.  It feeds on the leaves and roots of grapevines, cutting off the flow of nutrients and water to the vine, resulting in death.

In france, the farmers became so desperate that they took to burying a live toad by the root of the vine in order to draw out the poison.

Only the grape growing regions of the world which are protected by the high altitudes of the Andes escaped unscathed.  In Chile and Argentina you still find the least problems with pests and disease which makes wine production that much more economical.  The upshot of this is that you get great quality wines at lower prices – an all-round win!

You can check out our great quality, phylloxera free wines here ->