|On July 12th, Catena Zapata was voted number one in the world at the World’s Best Vineyards 2023 award ceremony for over 125 VIPs held in La Rioja, Spain. The extensive list highlights a diverse selection of the world’s finest vineyards to visit across the globe.
|Founded in 1902, Catena Zapata is the oldest Argentine family winery still in family hands and is known for its pioneering role in reinventing Malbec. The Catena Zapata family holds more 100-point wine ratings than any other winery in South America, and its Adrianna Vineyard, at 5,000 feet elevation, is recognized as South America’s ‘Grand Cru’ Vineyard. This year, Catena Zapata opened its first restaurant, Angélica – Cocina Maestra, located right in La Pirámide vineyard, in the Agrelo district. The ‘wine-first’ restaurant starts at a gallery leading into the underground distillery and continues with a visit to the tower, with views of the vineyards and Mayan-inspired pyramid-shaped winery. The design recreates a traditional Italian borgo village and pays homage to the Catena family’s Italian roots. Rather than focusing on food, diners choose from one of five wine flights encompassing Catena Zapata’s portfolio of exquisite wines and receive local and seasonal food that pairs best with those wines, most sourced from organic vegetable garden next to the restaurant.
|Dr. Laura Catena, fourth generation vintner and managing director of Catena Zapata, received the award. Tim Atkin MW was the host of the ceremony and said about the family winery: “Bodega Catena Zapata is a driving force in Argentine winemaking. A winery that played a pivotal role in resurrecting Malbec’s fortunes, pushing Mendoza’s vineyards higher into the Andean foothills, and delving deeply into the country’s many terroirs. The family even founded the Catena Institute of Wine to scientifically examine every aspect of the local soils, rocks and microorganisms and their effect on the vines.”
|Laura accepting Catena Zapata’s N°1 World’s Best Vineyard award: “Through elevating Argentine wine, I can actually help hundreds of thousands of millions of people in my region.”
|Moved by this recognition, Dr. Laura Catena said, “I am speechless. What a tremendous honor and acknowledgement for my father’s vision of thirty years, to make Argentine wines that can stand with the best of the world. A recognition for our family and for all the super hard-working people at Catena – past, present, and future. Great to see so many Argentine wineries in the Top 50. Congrats to ALL THE WINNERS!”
|This year, Antinori nel Chianti Classico (Marchesi Antinori), World’s Best Vineyard 2022, has entered the Hall of Fame, which is reserved for vineyards that have topped the winning list. Catena Zapata will join the Hall of Fame next year.
|The Top 50 list is compiled from all the nominations by a global academy of wine experts. The world is split into geographical regions, each headed up by an acknowledged expert as the Academy Chair. Each Academy Chair is responsible for recruiting 36 wine and travel experts. Each member of the Voting Academy must vote for seven vineyards. There is no pre-determined checklist of criteria or predefined list to choose from – each vote is a nomination for a vineyard experience open to the public that the judges deem to truly be the best in the world.For more information on the selection criteria, go to:https://www.worldsbestvineyards.com/voting/the-voting-system