Laura Catena, daughter of famous Argentine wine pioneer, Nicolas Catena, was born in Buenos Aires. At the age of 14, her family moved to Berkeley, California where her father had taken a teaching position in the Economics Department. Laura went on to attend Harvard University, where she graduated magna cum laude in biology, and then she returned to the west coast, to Stanford University, to pursue a medical degree graduating in 1992.
Today, Laura Catena is a practicing emergency-room physician. She is also the General Director and a pivotal player at Bodega Catena Zapata. She also somehow finds time to make wine under her own label, Luca, using formerly untapped vineyard sites to produce some of Argentina's top artisanal wines.
Representing the "next generation" in a great wine dynasty is not easy, but Laura is taking up the challenge. She has the highest regard for tradition and a bold attitude towards change. In every sense, she is a part of the vanguard revolutionizing Argentina’s wine industry. Her focus is concentrated on creating a new breed of small quantity, artisan-quality wines that are true to their individual terroirs.
Assisting Laura in her wine revolution is Luis Reginato, winemaker at Luca Winery as of the 2002 vintage. Luis is still young. He is a highly trained and respected vineyard consultant and winemaker. He is truly an up and coming talent, with Luis and his wines already garnering high praise from his peers and critics alike. He is definitely a winemaker to watch.
Luca’s wines start with some of Argentina’s best old-vine grapes sourced from low-yield, high-altitude vineyards. Rigorous vineyard management and state-of-the-art winemaking techniques round-out the quality level sought out by top wine collectors and connoisseurs. They are usually produced from very mature fruit, and bottled with as little manipulation as possible. Demand for Laura’s wines ordinarily exceeds supply. Annual production is below 2,000 9L cases, divided among five different wines: Malbec, Syrah, Beso de Dante, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir.
Luca may not a household name, but with the attention and critical acclaim Laura's wines have garnered, it's unlikely that will be true for very long.
Be sure to check out Vino Argentino, Laura Catena's guide to discovering where to eat, what to see, and how to travel like a local in the wine country of Argentina. Available Now!