HARVEST REPORT - 2023
The 2023 wines will be among the most age worthy. After the October and November 2022 spring frosts which provoked a generalized reduction in yields, the climate was very dry with temperatures slightly on the warmer side. Low yields resulted in a harvest 2 to 4 weeks earlier than usual. The wines are quite elegant, with high natural acidity and low alcohols. Powerful minerality and texture are this year’s trademarks. It will be a vintage to be savored slowly, enjoying every sip and every glass…in moderation.
Up until the early spring of 2022, the season was cool and mountain snow abundant enough that we could relax about having enough water. But then in October the rollercoaster started. Every rain would be followed by a drying Zonda wind and a sequence of frosts.
We had three frosts in October and then one in early November that affected all vineyard areas, from Patagonia in the South to Salta in the North of Argentina.
Although at first it seemed like the harvest would be delayed, the combination of low yields and slightly warmer temperatures in December and January led to a quickening of the ripening process. This resulted in most places being harvested between 2 and 4 weeks earlier than usual.
The effect of the frost was highly variable. In the Adrianna Vineyard, among the highest altitudes in Mendoza, thanks to the slope, we had almost no effect from the frost (we did light candles several times during the season).
Our Nicasia Vineyard in Altamira was mildly affected by the frost, with a reduction in yields which contributed to the power of the wines this year. Our vineyards that had the most dramatic reduction in yields were in the southernmost part of the Uco Valley, in our Angélica Sur Vineyard in El Cepillo, although the quality also, is extraordinary.
Flavors: typicity was accentuated this year, perhaps because of the lower alcohols and variable yields. Minerality is quite prominent, even in some of the lower altitude areas due to elevated natural malic acid throughout the wines. The key this year was to get the harvest time exactly right for each terroir, parcela and variety, and this, along with the frosts required many sleepless nights and weekends in the vineyard. Our efforts were rewarded by extraordinary, age-worthy wines, and for that we are grateful to nature. Salud!
On other exciting news, Dr. Laura Catena received in March the “Outstanding Achievement Award” from Meininger for her work in sustainability. She also received the “Old Vine Hero Award” from Our Old vines, for her longstanding commitment to promoting and protecting the future of Old Vine Malbec in Argentina. These recognitions, together with the “Woman of The Year 2022” from The Drinks Business, demonstrates Laura’s dedication to elevating Argentine wine for another 200 years.
CATENA ZAPATA NAMED THE N°1 WORLD’S MOST ADMIRED WINE BRAND OF 2020 BY DRINKS INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE
MENDOZA, ARGENTINA – April 2020 – As Argentina went into mandatory quarantine on March 20th, the staff at Catena Zapata donned masks and gloves, and headed into the vineyards to gather the remaining grapes of an extraordinary harvest. Designated as food producers by the Argentine government, wineries have been allowed to continue working. In this context, on April 1st, Drinks International announced that Catena Zapata was voted The World’s Most Admired Wine Brand of 2020 by an international group of drinks buyers and wine experts, including wine professionals from 48 different countries. The survey was conducted in association with market research specialists at Wine Intelligence.
The announcement, scheduled to be unveiled by Drinks International at ProWein Fair in Dusseldorf, Germany in March, was postponed after the event’s cancellation due to the spread of COVID-19 across Europe. The Catena Zapata family’s joy at being the first Argentine winery to receive this global award is mixed with worry and concern for friends, family, and colleagues who are affected around the world.
At a time when health is of the utmost priority, the Catena Zapata family conducted a series of group video calls on Zoom to check on the well-being of those who have made this worldwide recognition possible. On April 1st and 2nd, the staff in Argentina connected with customers and colleagues from Latin America, Asia, North America, Africa, Oceania, Central America, and Europe to offer encouragement to those in quarantine and propose a virtual toast to their health and to better times.
Dr. Laura Catena, the winery’s fourth generation and managing director says: “I became a medical doctor at the time of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s and felt hopeless at not being able to do more. Today, we are all able to help stop the spread of COVID-19 by staying home and helping our parents, grandparents, friends, and colleagues. This award for Catena Zapata, a first for an Argentine winery, goes to all the great people who have worked at our family winery since 1902, to our region’s beautiful vineyards, and to our fellow wine drinkers around the world.”
To determine The World’s Most Admired Wine Brands award, survey respondents were asked to list the three wine brands they most admire, taking into consideration the brand’s quality, consumer awareness, packaging, and its overall authenticity to their respective regions. Recent winners of the award include Torres, Penfolds, and Concha y Toro.
Now in its sixth decade of publication, Drinks International is a leading authority on the latest industry trends for global drinks buyers and professionals.
About Catena Zapata
Founded in 1902, Argentina’s Catena Zapata is known for its pioneering role in resurrecting the Malbec grape and in discovering extreme high-altitude terroirs in the Andean foothills of Mendoza. Nicolás Catena Zapata is the only South American to have received both Decanter's Man of the Year Award and Wine Spectator's Distinguished Service Award. The winery’s Adrianna Vineyard holds several 100-point wine ratings. For more information about Catena Zapata, please visit www.catenazapata.com.
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