Interview with Laura Catena

Laura Catena is an emergency room doctor in San Francisco. She is also a fourth-generation winemaker from a family credited with revolutionizing Argentinian wine – Bodega Catena Zapata’s flagship label, Nicolás Catena Zapata, was the first wine from Argentina to score a Robert Parker 98+.

How did you first fall in love with wine?

When my father was starting this whole revolution with Argentine wine in the ’80s and I was going to school in the United States [Harvard and Stanford]. My father used to visit me and one of our traditions was to go to really nice restaurants. His objective was to make Argentine wines that could stand with the rest of the world, so we had to try the best wines on the list. I became a wine snob rather quickly. That’s really how I started: sitting and having these incredible conversations with my father over wine.

Is great wine made in the vineyard or the winery?

Definitely in the vineyard. There’s no way you can make a great wine without a great vineyard. Impossible. However, you can ruin a great vineyard by making a bad wine. I think both are important, but without the great vineyard, there isn’t a great wine.

Read the rest of the interview here:

Interview by Amanda Barnes, written for


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