Consulado General y Centro de Promoción en Shanghai


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South American Malbec wine gains a flavorful following in Shanghai
The heart of Argentina

Malbec, a purple grape variety that was introduced from France to Argentina in 1853, is a symbol of Argentina along with the tango and beautiful people. The grape is one of the most important ingredients for wine production in Argentina, so much so that it even has its own special day.

Every April 17, Malbec World Day is toasted to around the globe. In Shanghai, the Consulate General of the Argentine Republic in Shanghai and Wines of Argentina, an institute that promotes Argentine wine and spirits, recently organized an event at KEE Club.

"Malbec World Day is not only celebrated in Shanghai, it is a global initiative that seeks to position Argentine Malbec in the world and celebrate the success of our wine industry," said Martin Romero, Deputy Consul General of Argentina in Shanghai.

According to Romero, the Malbec World Day event has been celebrated annually in Shanghai since 2013. The theme of this year's event was "Malbec as the heart of Argentina." Nearly 40 wineries participated in the event, providing their premium quality Malbec wines for an open tasting to the public.

"Malbec is not just a wine. It is a fruit that generates work, individuality, culture and development. The deepest wines are born of the deepest longings of their peoples, those who reside in the heart. Malbec is the heart of our industry and continues to be our global ambassador," Romero added.

Growing market presence

Romero also pointed out one of the highlights of this year's event, a blind taste-test session. "Thirty judges composed of sommelier (wine stewards) and experts tasted and scored 40 Malbec wines from different wineries and from different years with the aim of choosing 'the best Malbec' and 'the most popular Malbec.'

"The consulate presented certificates to each winery with their corresponding scores. Nearly 200 people attended the event. "They are mostly wine importers, exporters, distributors, winery representatives, sommeliers, critiques, or journalists and wine lovers," Romero told the Global Times.

Argentine-Chinese Wang Ye started to export Argentine wines to China in 2009. According to him, Argentina's wine brands have a growing market presence in the Chinese mainland and a big competitive advantage due to their humble prices, high quality and nice taste.

Wang told the Global Times that, at first, not many Chinese noticed Argentine wine brands. "But now when I present Argentine wines at trade shows, distributors show an interest and ask me for more detailed information," he added.

Similar experiences were echoed by Nuria Vila Escarra, the area manager of Rutini Winery, a 130-year-old Argentina winery that expanded into China. She said that Argentina became the eighth-largest wine exporter to China at the end of 2016. An estimated $23 million in wine was exported from Argentina to China in 2016.

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