To see previous visit of Catena click here.
In 1902 Nicola Catena planted his first vineyard on 4 hectares in Argentina; today his heirs own 500 hectares of estate vines on 5 vineyards throughout Argentina, have made long term deals with countless other growers, and their name stands at the top of all Argentinean wineries. Today we met with the personable and gregarious Laura Catena, whose father Nicolas has just been named Decanter Magazine’s 2009 Man of the Year. She took us on a tasting tour of Catena’s high-end wines and explained the reason for Catena-Zapata’s success: high altitudes and a pioneering spirit.
According to Laura, most Argentinean wineries aren’t interested in single vineyard production, or even showing the concept of “terroir” (sense of place) in their wine; but, she argues, if any country should be showing off it’s terroir it’s Argentina, and that is due to the uniqueness of the ‘terroir’: “We should be more Terroir-ists than they are in Burgundy,” she claims, “it’s because of our soils that we should be concentrating more on showing off our terroir.” She explains about the make up of Argentine soil vs. that in France (Bordeaux and Burgundy). Because it rains so much in these French locales the soils have a way of settling and layering: sand on one level, then lime, clay, and rock; but in Argentina they have far less rain, so the soils remain mixed together – they have the same components, they just have a different pattern and no layered stucture.
Tasting Terroir … (read about the difference 400 meters makes)
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