• Pioneering High Altitude Malbec
  • High Altitude Malbec Blending
  • The Black Wine of Cahors
  • Malbec added to Claret in 18th and 19th centuries.

    The "Frost of 1956" and Cloudy Bordeaux.

    Great Cahors is grown in the thin limestone soils of the arid upper plateaus.

  • Catena Pioneering Malbec next to the Andes Mountains
  • The Catena vineyards are only about 60 miles from the tallest peak in the Americas: Aconcagua at 22,831 ft.

    The Andes greatly influence the Catena vineyards by blocking clouds.

    Less clouds = 330 days of sunlight, continual drought, and large temperature differential between day & night.

  • Altitude Amplifies
  • Thin air allows for extra sunlight intensity

    Thin air retains less ambient humidity

    Thin air retains less nighttime heat

  • Qualified Hang-Time
  • Ripening without Over-ripeness: Brix rise slowly, so no excessive alcohol, good acid retention, not raisiny

    Photo-assimilated Extracts: Resveratrol, Color, Flavors and Aromas

    Polysacharide: Polymerize with Tannins: Ripe, Soft & Lush

  • The Catena Cuttings
  • Of 145 clones/cuttings, the 5 best were selected

    Cuttings selected for: Smaller berries / Low vigor / Less coulure = uniform ripening

    Catena cuttings planted in Catena Zapata vineyards at different altitudes between 2,800 and 5,000 feet elevation

    Catena Alta Malbec: blend of four vineyards, Angélica, Adrianna, Altamira, La Pirámide

  • High Altitude Malbec Pioneers
  • Catena Zapata Family
  • 1980's: First to see high quality potential for Malbec in Argentina.

    Identified the best high altitude vineyards in Mendoza to plant Malbec.

    1990's: Planted Malbec in the highest vineyard in Mendoza: Adrianna at 5,000 ft.

  • The Historic Catena Zapata Estate Vineyards
  • The Catena family has planted their estate vineyards at different altitudes, resulting in a wide array of flavors and aromas from each varietal.

    An important task in each vineyard is to find those special places which produce the best quality.

    The Zapata Lots are farmed separately, hand tended and cropped to very low yields for the concentration and complexity in the wines of Catena Alta and above.

    The Zapata Roware the best plants from each one of these lots. They receive extra special care from our vineyard managers and produce the Catena Zapata wines - Malbec Argentino, Nicolas Catena Zapata, Adrianna Vineyard Malbec, & Nicasia Vineyard Malbec.

  • Angelica Vineyard
  • An 80 year old Malbec vineyard named after Nicolas Catena's mother and planted in the Lunlunta district at 860m elevation.

    The vineyard where Catena & Catena Alta Malbecs were born. Mother vineyard to the Malbec clonal selection project.

    The sandy-clay soils of the 4 hectare Lot 18 and 5 hectare Lot 20 produce Malbecs with plum and red fruit flavors, soft plush texture and ripe, sweet tannins.

  • La Piramide Vineyard
  • Named for the pyramid architecture of the winery and planted in the Agrelo district at 940m elevation.

    Site of 25 year old Cabernet Sauvignon lot and where Malbec clonal selection experiment is planted.

    The 5 hectare Lot 3 produces dense, structured, balanced Cabernet Sauvignon. The 1.5 hectare Lot 4 offers rich, spicy, and earthy Malbec.

  • Domingo Vineyard
  • Named for Nicolas Catena's father and planted in the Villa Bastias district at 1,100m elevation.

    Site of 16 year old Cabernet Sauvignon lot planted with Mount Eden and #7 clones.

    The 6 hectare Lot 2 produces intensely aromatic Cabernet Sauvignon with ripe red fruits, sweet spice and bright vibrant acidity.

  • Nicasia Vineyard
  • Named for Nicolas Catena's grandmother and planted in the Altamira district at 1,180m elevation.

    Far southerly located vineyard with very cold nights.

    The 6 hectare Lot 1 produces rich, concentrated yet elegant and balanced Malbec. The 6 hectare Lot 2 produces Cabernet Sauvignon with concentrated cassis fruit, finely grained tannins, and bright acidity.

  • Adrianna Vineyard
  • Named for Nicolas Catena's youngest daughter and planted in the Gualtallary district at 1,500m elevation.

    Highest vineyard in Mendoza with very intense sunshine but exceptionally cold temperatures.

    Lots 1 & 2 produce rich, bright, mineral driven Chardonnay. Lots 3 & 9 produce dark, brooding, almost exotic Malbecs.

  • Catena Alta Malbec
  • Malbec Microclimate Blending
  • The inaugural 1996 vintage came entirely from lots 18 & 20 of the Angelica vineyard. It was the first 100% Malbec to get 94 points from Robert Parker.

    In 2001 Laura Catena introduced the innovative practice of "Microclimate Blending" - farming each Malbec lot at each altitude, lot and row to showcase its most outstanding characteristic.

    At the winery Laura is known as the "Blender".

    Laura bottles a small quantity of each component on its own in order to conduct Malbec Master Classes around the world.

    • Catena Zapata Nicasia Malbec
    • Malbec Down South!
    • In the 1990's, Laura Catena discovered the area of La Consulta, 100 km South of Mendoza, which was home to many small old vine Malbec vineyards.

      What is unique about Catena Zapata's Nicasia vineyard is that it is the only vineyard in the area planted with Catena's Angelica Vineyard ancient clone selection.

      These ancient clones from lots 18 and 20 of the Angelica Vineyard were first subjected to a rigorous selection process and then replanted in the Nicasia Vineyard as well as in all the new Catena family vineyard plantings.

    • Catena Zapata Adrianna Malbec
    • The Highest Malbec in Mendoza!
    • By planting Malbec in the Adrianna Vineyard, Nicolas Catena Zapata defied his own head viticulturalist. Nobody thought that it would ripen in this cool climate at almost 5,000 feet elevation.

      Not only does Malbec ripen here but because of the cool nights and extreme daytime sunlight, it makes a wine that is extremely concentrated and aromatic at the same time.

      By harvesting the Zapata rows in this vineyard at different times, we create a wine that explodes in the nose and mouth and has layers and layers of aromas and flavors.

    • Nicolas Catena Zapata
    • The World's Only "Super-Argentine"
    • The first wine to stand side by side with the best of Europe and Napa.

      In 2000 Nicolas Catena Zapata wins a series of blind tastings in the US & UK against the likes of Haut Brion, Solaia, Latour, Opus One and Caymus Special Selection

      This wine represents Nicolas Catena Zapata's dream to compete with the best wines of the world.

    • Catena Zapata Malbec Argentino
    • Can Argentine Malbec Make World Class Wine?
    • Today Malbec is at the center of Argentine winemaking. But just 15 years ago it was completely revolutionary to think that a Malbec could get 98+ from Robert Parker

      This wine took over a decade of hard work to realize.

      It was the extraordinary quality of the Zapata rows in the Adrianna & Nicasia vineyards in 2004 that made this dream a reality.