They say that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.
That may or may not be true, but this we can state with authority: What’s happening in the vineyards and cellars of Argentina is having an impact on winegrowing and winemaking in California.
Credit the so-called “flying winemakers,” a group of men and women who spend one harvest season in the Northern Hemisphere and another in the Southern Hemisphere.
Down south, the hottest wine country of the past two decades has been Argentina, where Malbec has emerged as the red wine king – the equivalent of Cabernet Sauvignon in the Napa Valley.
In France, Malbec has long been one of five main ingredients in the Cabernet-dominated red blends of Bordeaux that are so coveted by collectors. Plantings of Malbec in the United States, however, were few and far between.
But as Argentina’s star has risen on the world wine scene, that has been changing. We’re seeing more and more Malbec vines around the Napa Valley, and even the occasional varietal bottling.
All of which helps explain why the Fiesta Nacional de la Vendimia has become so popular in the Mendoza growing region of Argentina. Each year, some 40,000 wine lovers head to Mendoza for this grape harvest festival, which includes a blessing-of-the-grapes ceremony and the crowning of a queen of the harvest.
The 2011 edition of the fiesta is scheduled for March 5-7. If you love good wine, good food, good music and good times, you owe it to yourself to plan ahead for the 2012 fiesta.
For further information, visit: www.welcomeargentina.com/fiesta-vendimia
Speaking of Las Vegas – remember? – be sure to check out the next “Editor’s Journal” column on Monday to learn about an ongoing wine event at one of Sin City’s top Italian restaurants.