Nicolas Catena: The “godfather” of Argentine wine

Last weekend, Nicolas Catena Zapata received the 2012 Distinguished Service Award from the Wine Spectator. No surprise. The godfather of Argentine wine, Nicolas Catena . The description for the Distinguished Service Award is for those “who have made significant and long-lasting contributions to the wine industry. All have displayed a passion for excellence, an appetite for innovation and a commitment to sharing the fruits of their success with those less fortunate.”

Nicolas Catena Zapata came from a winemaking family. His grandfather, Nicolas, planted his first Malbec vines in 1902. His father, Domingo, continued to grow the family’s winery holdings, eventually passing the reigns onto¬† his son, Nicolas, in the 1960s. After gaining inspiration watching the Napa Valley rise in quality in the 1970s and 80s, Nicolas set out to craft quality wine in Argentine. Like many visionaries, he was seen as slightly crazy for 1. placing his entire focus on fine wine and 2. planting Malbec at a high altitude. Both risks, however, turned out to be successful. Over the past few decades, Catena, along with his daughter, Laura, has brought Argentine wine – particularly Malbec – to the forefront of the wine world, showing that this grape can produce both value and ageworthy wines.

We congratulate Nicolas Catena Zapata on this well-deserved award and hope, if you have not already, you will try some of the fantastic wines produced at Catena. It is here that you will taste the true terroir of Argentina.

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