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Experience – Bodega Catena Zapata – Lujan de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina.

Bodega Catena Zapata is one of the most iconic bodegas in all of Argentina. The winery can be traced back more than a century to Nicola Catena, an Italian immigrant, who planted his first vineyard in Mendoza, Argentina in 1902. Bodega Catena Zapata is owned today by Nicolás Catena and his daughter Dr. Laura Catena, and the winery produces some of the finest wines in all of Argentina.

As trained economist, Nicolás decided to improve wine quality at his estate in the 1980s after recognizing certain types of wines were becoming highly acclaimed by certain wine critics. Nicolas made the bold decision to plant Chardonnay and Malbec at a 5,000 feet elevation. This was an unusual vineyard practice at the time,  but soon thereafter Nicolas was crafting incredible wines from these vines. In 2001 Nicolas’ daughter Dr. Laura Catena took over the Research & Development program at Bodega Catena Zapata. An Emergency Room physician, with degrees from Harvard and Stanford, Dr. Laura Catena brought a very strong analytical and science background to the bodega’s R&D initiatives. She immediately focused on the high altitude Malbec that her father had planted and has achieved incredible success at the winery since taking over. The winery has remained under family control — now in its fourth generation — and is one of the few family-owned wine companies in Argentina that remains in Argentine hands.

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