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The Argentine region of Mendoza is one which has been associated with fine winemaking for over a hundred years. The pristine terroirs, which have an impressive elevation and benefit from the mineral-rich soils and excellent exposure to long sunlit hours, produce wines of remarkable quality and character, and this region has been at the forefront of the South America wine industry as a whole for the last century. One of the key wineries in Mendoza is Catena Zapata, today housed in an impressive building with a massive range of vineyards, but which had humble beginnings. Catena Zapata was founded in 1902 by Nicola Catena, an Italian immigrant looking for a new life in a new world. The winery has remained in the Catena family for four generations, and is almost unique in the fact that it is an Argentine winery which has remained in Argentine hands as it became more and more successful. Today, the business is overseen by Nicola’s great-grandson, Nicolas, who along with his wife, is taking Catena Zapata to new heights.
Nicolas took over in 1980, and used his formal education in economics as a starting point for bringing the business into the contemporary, international wine world. Despite his economist’s background, Nicolas has winemaking in his blood, and his passion for producing excellent wines comes directly from his ancestors, and has seen him take Catena Zapata to the very zenith of the Argentinian wine scene and beyond. His approach - measured, logical and forward thinking - has brought the attention of the world to Argentine Malbec wines, and to high altitude viticulture in general. Altitude is key to the terroir of Catena Zapata - the vines are grown at an astonishing 5000 feet above sea level, meaning the low-yielding vines have to struggle in the thinner air, and thus produce fruits of excellent quality and character. Each bottle of Catena Zapata is the product of a labour of love, crafted with great respect for this unique terroir, and the generations of hard work which went into making it successful.