Bodega Catena ZapataHistory, savoir-faire, passion and tradition

Anna Caidan is in conversation with Laura Catena, of Argentina's Bodega Catena Zapata
2020-04-01
Wine Story

What could you tell me about the history of Catena Zapata?

Our family winery was founded by an Italian immigrant to Argentina, Nicola Catena, in 1902. He planted his first Malbec at that time seeking to make a wine of substance that would please the large European immigrant wine drinking populations. The following generations have continued to elevate Argentine wine, pioneering everything from high altitude farming, soil studies, preserving pre-phylloxeric Malbec selections and telling the world about our beautiful wines.

What is the secret to making your wines?

My father and I and all the people that work at Catena believe that we can make wines in Mendoza that can stand with the best of the world. It is this vision that gives us the passion to work harder and harder every day. And to look forward to another 100 years of elevating Argentine wine for the generations of wine drinkers to come.

What is your favourite step in the winemaking process?

Walking the vineyards.

What is your best memory since working at Catena Zapata?

I am 52 years old, and still live with my father when I am in Mendoza. Every evening we go for a walk and talk about wine and about the future of our family winery. These walks with my father are the best part of my day. And I hope that someday I will be able to do the same with my children, my nieces and nephews and my grandchildren.

...And your most challenging moment?

When hail or frost hit a vineyard, it can destroy everything. It is hard to believe sometimes that the vineyard will recover, but it always does. It is the life of the farmer, but sometimes it is hard to accept.

How would you describe your wines in three words?

Elegant, balanced, distinctive

How are your wines best served?

With a delicious home-made meal in the company of those you love.

‘The estate is located at an altitude of 1,500 metres, at the foot of the Andes mountain range, in a cool but sunny region. Special shout-out for this up-and-coming, Catena San Carlos Cabernet Franc 2016, fresh and elegant with rich flavours of raspberries, blackcurrant and notes of black pepper. ‘ Anna Caidan

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