The strain was brought by the French agronomist Michel A. Pouget at the request of Domingo Faustino Sarmiento

The path to “be eternal” is not at all easy: it is traveled with effort and perseverance; sometimes with moments of glory, others of sheer tenacity to not give up and move on. Fortunately, in the 13th edition of the World Malbec Day we can raise our glass of wine and raise a toast to the success and international recognition that Argentine Malbec has achieved in recent years. But it was a long and arduous journey until this strain managed to become an icon of our country. So much so that it reminds me of the overtaking story of another undisputed world champion: Leo Messi.

Like Malbec, Messi was not born captain of his category. After having shone in the U-20, he made his debut for Argentina in 2005: with the number 18 on his back, he entered the field full of adrenaline to play his first friendly match with Hungary. Although Argentina won, the footballer was sent off after 47 seconds with an elbow. Not exactly a winning first step, but there were still plenty of stories to tell.

The arrival of Malbec on Argentine soil was not a triumphant start either. The strain was brought by the French agronomist Michel A. Pouget for request of Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, with the idea of ​​filling the fields of Mendoza and San Juan with grapes for an innovative and varied crop. On April 17, 1853, now known as World Malbec Day, Quinta Normal de Agricultura was founded and a project was signed to promote viticulture that would forever change the national industry… But the grapes of the city of Cahors is struggling to adapt due to the lack of water and the scarcity of labor for production. However, enthusiasts like Pouget did not give up and grew a variety of fruit that was smaller and more compact than the original French version. With time and perseverance, it has managed to expand and give a dark colored wine, with an intense and fruity flavor. They knew they had a quality product typical of the Cuyo land.

With time and perseverance, it has managed to expand and give a dark colored wine, with an intense and fruity flavor.

In the same way, the footballer scored his first goal in the World Cup against Serbia-Montenegro in 2006. But, if “La Pulga” stood out and left everything for the national team, there was ups and downs: DT Jose Nestor Pekerman he left him sitting on the bench in the quarter-finals and watched idly as his side were disqualified on penalties. But that was just the beginning. In 2009, he donned his number 10 shirt to continue dribbling and touring the international courts. He showed that the dream of winning a World Cup was still valid, even though he was then knocked out in the quarter-finals of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and in the last game in Brazil in 2014.

There was no shortage of talent: Messi won the 2015 Copa América best player award but turned it down after Argentina lost on penalties to Chile. He didn’t want to look for any trophies, what he wanted was a victory with the Albiceleste. The same scenario repeated itself in the 2016 Copa América Centenario, when he missed a decisive penalty in the last match. After four losing finals, on June 27, the captain sadly announced what no one wanted to hear: “The national team is over for me.”

Sometimes hard work and ability are not enough. The farms of Mendoza were full of opportunities to surprise with a robust and different national product. In 1858, the winegrowers received the bitter news of a major lack of budget. Public policies no longer support Malbec and the Quinta Normal de Mendoza closes definitively, putting an end to the national project to promote viticulture.

But where there is a dream, there is always a last breath to realize it. Pouget continued to experiment with new varieties and grow Malbec in his private enterprise. He was convinced that this grape variety had a lot to offer and he worked there until the day of his death, November 29, 1875. Almost a century later, in 1962, the progress of the industry caused the Argentinian Malbec to grow from 58,577 hectares and represent 22.5 hectares. % of the country’s total vines. In 1995, the strain had its worst moment: 83% of the Malbec area was eradicated and it was reduced to 9,746 hectares, the lowest figures in its entire history.

Its smooth, velvety texture has delighted the palates of foreigners and received high praise from Master of Wine and Wine Critics.

With perseverance, viticulture in general has recovered until it regains its traditional peak and the star of the country is Malbec: in 1974, the first export to the United States is carried out, and it gradually climbs to 16,350 hectares in the year 2000. The know-how and the innovation of the teams of oenologists and agronomists made this strain an emblematic place among Argentine red wines and dominated national exports for decades. So much so that on November 24, 2010, wine was declared the national drink.

Returning to Lionel, he announced his return to the Argentina national team two months after his farewell. He played in the 2018 World Cup in Russia and the 2019 Copa América in Brazil; both ended in defeats. But the 2021 Copa América received him at 34, more mature and experienced, with eyes on the prize. On the Scaloneta, the world football star crowned the Argentine national team with its first title in 28 years, with a historic run of unbeaten matches.

170 years after the arrival of Malbec in Argentina, this wine travels the world. Its smooth, velvety texture has enchanted the palates of foreigners and received high praise from Master of Wine and Wine Critics. Today, national professionals produce 4,242,644 quintals of the “Messi of Argentine wines” and cover an area of ​​46,565 hectares. It is awarded and recognized as a symbol of the country and unique in its kind, in addition to taking the position of the most cultivated, produced and distributed throughout the territory.

Today, Messi and Argentinian Malbec are internationally recognized as icons, leaders, winners

“We went through difficult situations, others very good. Today we are experiencing something spectacular, ”celebrated the 10th one step away from his last goal, the long-awaited World Cup final in Qatar. On December 18, 2022, after an endless game against France full of goals, sweat and chants of “Guys, now we’re excited again!”, the Argentina national team won the third star. Dressed in a black and gold cape worthy of a king, Lionel and his team celebrated their triumph in front of nearly 90,000 spectators at the Lusail stadium.

Today, Messi and Argentinian Malbec are internationally recognized as emblems, leaders, winners. After years of maturation, work and effort, these Argentine stars have consecrated us as winners of football and wine. Messi has already raised his glass: on April 17, we raise ours for a toast worthy of champions.

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