Laura Catena has a vision of creating a new breed of Argentine wines: small quantities, artisan quality, and true to their individual terroirs. She starts with some of Argentina's best fruit from low-yield, high elevation vineyards. State-of-the-art winemaking and oak aging (primarily French) elevate the wines to a quality level demanded by true wine connoisseurs. The final varietal blends deliver power along with complexity and finesse. They are the ultimate expression of rigorous vineyard management, viticultural experimentation, strict irrigation controls, skilled winemaking, and a quest for quality at any cost. Her current releases include Syrah, Beso de Dante, Malbec, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay.
“Named for her oldest son, Luca is the first brand dedicated to showing the potential of Argentina’s old vines. The country has a wealth of old vineyards, “but for forever they were only used to make bulk wine,” says Laura. “Everyone thought that to make fine wine, you needed to plant your own vineyards, because the farmers would never be trusted to cut yields and prune enough to make great wine. I thought, I don’t have 50 years, and I want old vines.” So she found a way to persuade some growers to cut crops and produce better grapes. The results are the amazing wines of Luca, which have become hot commodities here, in Argentina, Brazil and, of all places, Denmark. Under the Luca label, Laura makes several different varietal wines, all with impeccable balance, excellent concentration and extraordinary grace. They may be the finest wines coming out of Argentina today.”
Announcing the release in October of 2010 of Laura Catena's Vino Argentino, the first book about Argentine wine by a US publisher
In this book—part wine primer, part cultural exploration, part introduction to the Argentine lifestyle—discover where to eat, what to see, and how to fit in with Laura Catena, the Argentina-born, United States-educated, globetrotting wine star. The world’s fifth largest producer of wine, Argentina is home to malbec, the country’s best-known indigenous grape and the fastest growing wine import into the United States. More than 400,000 Americans visit Argentina every year to experience the mighty malbec, taste unparalleled grass-fed beef, trek the wide-open country, and tango all night long in Buenos Aires, “the Paris of South America.” These visitors travel with Laura in Vino Argentino, the only travel journal that provides insider access to the unique wine regions, wineries, shops, bars, galleries and restaurants of vast, beautiful Argentina.
Laura Catena belongs to the fourth generation of an Argentine-Italian winemaking family and serves as president of Bodega Catena Zapata, her family’s winery. An emergency room physician, she splits her time between San Francisco and Mendoza. She is also owner and winemaker for LUCA Winery, sourced from small family owned vineyards in Mendoza.
About the winemaker
Luis Reginato, winemaker for Luca Wines since 2002 was born in Altamira, La Consulta, son of a sparkling wine producer. He studied Agronomy at the Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, Argentina's most prestigious viticulture program, and is devoted to the land and wines of Mendoza. Although he travels around the world to tell the story of Luca Wines, he prefers to spend his time in the vineyards with his wife and little son Giovanni.