Malbec native to Bordeaux, France, is Argentina’s flagship grape and the main variety of Argentine wine exported to more than 100 countries. However, the area planted with Malbec represents only 14% of the total varieties grown in the Argentine territory, explained a report produced by the National Institute of Viticulture (INV).
In the 2010-2011 growing cycle, 31.047% hectares of Malbec vineyards were registered, representing 14.26% of the total planted area in the country. With respect to 2000, year in which the “Actualización Registro de Viñedos” (Vineyard Register Update) was carried out, the area showed an increase of 89.93% and, compared with 1994, it grew 212%.
86% of the hectares planted with this grape are found in Mendoza where they represent 17% of all the vineyards in the province. Mendoza boast 26.660 hectares, figure that indicates an 86% growth since 2000.
Malbec covers 4.03% of the overall area in San Juan province, where the prevailing variety is Syrah. In other provinces, the plantation of this grape has shown a marked increment.
In Neuquén and Salta, though the extension of hectares is smaller, there exists a distinct Malbec predominance.
In the 2011 grape harvest, production of grapes amounted to 6,372 million pounds of which 6,189 million were destined to winemaking. 661,723,873 pounds of Malbec were assigned to winemaking, representing 10.38% of the total production. This variety experienced a 961% increase with respect to 1993 and 424% compared to 2000.
Malbec accounted for 99.98% of the total volume of bottled wine marketed in 2011. When analyzing the figures of 2011 in contrast to 2010, it can be observed a growth in bottled wine sales and a drop in bulk wine sales. In Argentina, Malbec is mostly sold in bottles. In 2011 bottled Malbec wine represented 97% of the total sales.
86.13% of these wines were released for consumption from Mendoza, followed by San Juan, La Rioja and Salta, in order of importance. 2,107.71 hectoliters of Malbec varietal wines were identified with Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) and 8,561.66 with Protected Designation of Origin (PDO).
During 2011, Malbec varietal wines occupied the first place in terms of exported volume and accounted for 44% of the total varietal wines exports. When compared to 2010, exported volume grew 7.88% (921,927 hectoliters) and 428.12% in contrast to 2004.
FOB price of Malbec varietal wines show an increase of 17.62% in respect to 2010 and 670.36% as regards to 2004.
In 2011, 91.08% of Malbec wine was sold abroad in bottles, showing an increase of 5.16% on a volume basis and 15.78% on a dollar basis in comparison to the previous year. With respect to 2004, the growth was 435.39 % and 659.07 %, respectively.
Bulk wine shipments went up 46.65% in volume and 96.12% in dollar value as compared to 2010. The data derived from 2004 suggests a growth of 363.80% in hectoliters and 1,130.12% in FOB price.
During 2011, Malbec varietal wine was exported to 118 countries. Its main destination was United States that represented 49% of the total, followed by Canada representing 8.72%. Meanwhile, 85.60% of bulk wine was destined to the US and 4.09% to Denmark.