Video: Blending Wine & Medicine with Argentina’s Dr. Laura Catena

What a terrific chat with Dr. Laura Catena, a fourth generation Argentine vintner, physician and author!

Click on the arrow above to watch the video.

Listen to Laura’s stories about why Catena wines are so special.

Discover more juicy tips that will make you wine smart.



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If you’d like to read the comments for this tasting, or make a comment yourself, visit:

Here’s a sampling of our lively discussion from our tasting…

Rachelle O’Connor11:05 Laura…so much adoration and respect for your family and the contributions you have made! Wow! Please tell us about the meaning behind the building structure of the winery….

Lori Kilmartin

Lori Kilmartin47:38 Maybe I missed this but how many hours do you work at the hospital a week? Full time plus winemaking?

Joseph C Fisher

Joseph C Fisher48:34 Laura Catena is one of the nicest people ever. I’ve met her twice at her family’s winery and I could not have been welcomed any nicer.

John Morrison

John Morrison58:32 Malbec & Torrontes are my go to wines. They make the perfect gifts for those snobs that wrongly believe europe is wine.

Richard Bayard

Richard Bayard19:32 Natalie, thanks for having Laura ! I had the chance to visit Catena twice in Argentina including a bus trip across the Andes from Santiago to Mendoza and met Dr. Catena twice at LCBO dinners in TO. We love all her wines !

Bruno Rebelo de Sousa

Bruno Rebelo de Sousa15:30 Actually I tasted already the Catena Zapata 2009 and also the Catena Zapata Malbec Argentino 2009!
And Angélica Zapata Cabernet Franc Alta! 

Elaine Bruce

Elaine Bruce46:18 I like your comment about wine being the first medicine.
Bruno Rebelo de Sousa
Bruno Rebelo de Sousa10:01 Next Prowein, for sure will pay a visit!!

Darryl Vennard

Darryl Vennard38:54 Ask Laura about attending school in Saint Louis when she was in second grade

Paul E Hollander

Paul E Hollander15:12 Have had Catena Malbecs before. A Malbec is in the glass right now.

Beverly Asleson

Beverly Asleson31:11 My bucket list is to visit your winery

Beverly Asleson

Beverly Asleson4:10 So impressed with Dr Laura Catena

Lori Kilmartin

Lori Kilmartin55:10 I liked her comment how we focus on different areas of France and other countries – but maybe don’t realize how they also are similar!

Lori Kilmartin

Lori Kilmartin49:37 DR, Winemaker, Teacher – you are awesome! Much respect for you!

Daniel David Hewitt

Daniel David Hewitt12:19 The best Malbecs in the world come from Catena- we love Laura!

Elaine Bruce

Elaine Bruce15:26 I missed Laura in Atlanta by 1 day – at Elizabeth – so glad to watch here now

Elaine Bruce

Elaine Bruce11:06 First Malbec that I tried and fell in love with Argentine wine …and then researched the cuisine

Sam Hauck

Sam Hauck17:45 Perfect with asado. Loved Argentina when I was there (briefly), especially Mendoza.

Dave Head

Dave Head30:14 We have a number of Catena bottles in our cellar

Stephen Andrews

Stephen Andrews57:33 Notice you did not spit much! Good stuff the Melbec

Stephen Andrews

Stephen Andrews52:26 We have a winemaker from Waterloo doing wine there.

Stephen Andrews

Stephen Andrews49:30 It is the toughest job an emergency doctor good for you

Rachelle O'Connor

Rachelle O’Connor48:08 Yay! The link between health and wine!! I love the “Medicine & Malbec” 🍇 reference to you and your wonderful ability to help people, in moderation, and tie it all together…..I smiled when I read that your Grandfather knew and adored you so much… he had a name for you “La Lauchita?” 

Sam Hauck

Sam Hauck8:01 Absolutely. They are very good wines.
 Elaine Bruce
Elaine Bruce11:49 So delish with BBQ

Elaine Bruce

Elaine Bruce32:21 Torrontés.. new favorite white

Ronald John Benzie

Ronald John Benzie39:36 Can we get these in Australia?



Laura Catena is a fourth generation Argentine vintner, physician and author. Catena’s great grandfather founded the Catena winery in Mendoza in 1902 after emigrating from Italy. Her father, Nicolas Catena Zapata, often referred to as “the Robert Mondavi of Argentina,” helped facilitate the ascent of Argentine Malbec onto the world stage.

Born in Mendoza, Argentina, Laura graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University and has a Medical Doctor degree from Stanford University. Laura combines a strong science background with a passion for her family winery. She is currently managing director of Bodega Catena Zapata and her own Luca Wines in Mendoza, as well as a practicing Emergency Medicine physician in San Francisco.

Laura has been called the “face” of Argentine wine. She has traveled the globe to lecture about Argentine wines and viticulture and has been an invited speaker at the American Society of Wine Educators, Decanter Fine Wine Encounter, The Smithsonian and the Vancouver Playhouse among others.

In 2010 Laura Catena released her book Vino Argentino, An Insider’s Guide to the Wines and Wine Country of Argentina (Chronicle Books), the first book about Argentine wine by a U.S. publisher. Dave McIntyre of The Washington Post wrote: “Vino Argentino is a mouthwatering introduction to the wines and culture of Argentina.”


Harvard University
Bachelor of Arts, Biology, magna cum laude, 1984-1988

Stanford University School of Medicine
Doctor of Medicine, 1988-1992


Harvard University
• Harvard College Award for scholastic excellence, 1986, 1988
• John Harvard Award for scholastic excellence, 1987
• Elizabeth Carry Agassiz Award for scholastic excellence, 1987, 1988
• Magna Cum Laude Honors, Senior Thesis in Biology, 1988

Stanford University School of Medicine
• Medical Student Research Scholarship, 1989
• Excellence in Emergency Medicine, Society of Academic Emergency Medicine, 1992
• Dean’s Award for Outstanding Community Service, 1992


Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Torrance, CA
Residency, Emergency Medicine, 1992-1995


• American Board of Emergency Medicine, Board Certified since July 1996
• Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians (FACEP), 1998 – present


Bodega Catena Zapata, Mendoza, Argentina
Managing Director, 2009-present
• Taste and approve all Bodega Catena Zapata wines
• Develop and oversee strategic planning for all vineyard and winery investments
• Manage worldwide export sales and marketing
• Serve as Board Director for Catena Institute of Wine (Founder – since 1995)
• Serve as Board Member on Bodegas Esmeralda, holding company for Bodega Catena Zapata
• Wine Enthusiast New World Winery of the Year 2010
• Wine Spectator Top 100 Wines – 6 times
• Wine and Spirits Top 100 Wineries – 9 times
• Alamos Malbec: # 1 Argentine Malbec & Among Top 5 Imported Wines in US
• Catena Malbec: #1 Super Premium Argentine Malbec & Among Top 5 Imported Wines >$15 in US
(AC Nielsen. US Food & Liquor. Period Ending 8/17/13. 750 ml)


Executive Director of Export Markets, 2001-2009
• Managed worldwide export sales and marketing
• Grew exports from 15% to 50% of the winery’s revenue

North America Export Manager, 1998 – 2001
• Managed North American sales and marketing for Bodegas Esmeralda and Bodega Catena Zapata

Catena Institute of Wine
Founder in 1995 – Board Director from 1995 to present

• First ever Argentine Malbec plant selection – 1995
• Study of the effects of high altitude on vines and wine
• Soil geology and soil microbiome studies
• Study of non-malbec varieties
• First Sustainability Code for Argentina – 2012
• Publications in mayor international journals such as Food Science and American Journal of Viticulture and Enology
• Led planting of 500 hectares of vineyards in Mendoza and 400 hectares outside Mendoza in La Rioja, Salta and La Pampa
• Oversaw research department with over 1,000 microvinifications per year
• Joint conference with UC Davis on the future of Wine Science – 2015

Luca Wines, Mendoza, Argentina
Founder and Owner, 1999 – present
• Named “Best of Best” from Argentina, Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate, 2011
• Leading Argentine brand in the $25-30 price segment in USA
• Luca Malbec has been twice in the Wine Spectator Top 100 wines list

Bodegas CARO – Catena’s partnership with Domaines Barons de Rothschild [Lafite]
• Board co-director with Christophe Salin from Chateau Lafite since 2011

IWSC – International Wine and Spirits Competition – Oldest Wine Competition in Europe
• President – 2014 – In charge of promoting competition and awarding medals
• Presided over ceremonies at London’s Guild Hall in November of 2014


• American Society of Enology and Viticulture, Argentine Wine
• American Society of Wine Educators, Mendoza Terroir
• University of California, Davis Polyphenol Conference, with Professor Roger Coder, Polyphenols in Wine and Health Benefits
• Stanford Business School, Family Businesses
• The Smithsonian Institution, Argentine Wine Roundtable
• Masters of Food and Wine at Pebble Beach, Malbec Seminar
• Judge – Argentina Wine Awards
• Google Headquarters Authors Talk –

Additional seminars and tastings about Argentine wine around the world including New York, Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Portland, Seattle, Chicago, New Jersey, Houston, Washington D.C., Cambridge, Miami, Dublin, Bordeaux, Paris, London, Amsterdam, Ontario, Vancouver, Quebec, Tokyo, Shanghai, Beijing, Oslo, Stockholm, Munich, Hamburg, Moscow, Amsterdam and Montreal.



Vino Argentino, An Insider’s Guide to the Wines and Wine Country of Argentina
Chronicle Books, 2010
• First book in English about Argentine wine
• A history of Argentine wine including maps, tourist destinations and regional recipes
• Critical acclaim by international press including New York Times, Washington Post, Wine Spectator, Decanter, Oprah Magazine

Sippa Press, LLC
• Co-owner of unique French press-style drinking vessels for brewing, filtering and drinking tea, yerba mate, coffee or other beverages. US Patent, 2008

Mendoza: Our Terroir
Wine Appreciation Guild, 2001
• Editor and Publisher of book on Argentine terroir with acclaimed photojournalist, Sara Matthews

Huffington Post Argentine Wine Column
Writer, since 2009

The Journal of Wine Economics
Opinion piece on the effects of Climate Change on Argentine Viticulture – February, 2016 scheduled


Fundacion Angelica Zapata, Mendoza, Argentina
• Actively participate in Catena Zapata family’s charitable foundation, named after Nicolas Catena Zapata’s mother
• Awarded dozens of scholarships for doctoral studies and masters degrees, provided funding for local school meals and supplies, contributed monetary and wine donations to numerous organizations including the Argentine Sommelier Association, local hospitals, Make-A-Wish Argentina and United Way


University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, San Francisco, CA
Clinical Professor of Medicine, 1996-present

California Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco, CA
Pediatric Emergency Physician, 2012-present



American College of Emergency Physicians, 1992 – present
Bodegas CARO (Catena-Rothschild) Board, 2000 – present
Bodegas Esmeralda Board Member, 2009 – present
Argento Wine Company Board Member, 2005 – 2012
Pacific Primary School, San Francisco, CA, School Board, 2002-2005


Fluent in Spanish, English, French and Italian








Adrianna Vineyard




Catena Zapata Winery





Catena Malbec 2015
Mendoza, Argentina








Snowy Andes




Adrianna Vineyard




Adrianna Vineyard







Catena Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
Mendoza, Argentina






Old vine




La Pirámide Vineyard at Agrelo




Stairs at Catena Zapata Winery






Catena Appellation Agrelo Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
Agrelo, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina







Since 1902




Laura Catena & Nicolas Catena Zapata




Laura Catena & Nicolas Catena Zapata






Catena High Mountain Vines Chardonnay 2016
Mendoza, Argentina







Laura Catena & Nicolas Catena Zapata




Laura Catena & Nicolas Catena Zapata




Laura Catena






Catena Appellation San Carlos Cabernet Franc 2014
Mendoza, Argentina







Laura Catena




Laura Catena in Calicata




Laura Catena at Adrianna Vineyard






Catena Alta Chardonnay Catena 2015
Mendoza, Argentina







Laura Catena




Catena Malbec




Adrianna Vineyard in winter






Catena Adrianna White Bones Chardonnay 2014
Mendoza, Argentina







Catena Zapata Cellar




Catena Zapata Tasting Room




Adrianna Vineyard






Catena Adrianna Vineyard Fortuna Terrae Malbec 2013
Mendoza, Argentina







Adrianna Vineyard “mirador”




La Pirámide




White Stones “calicata”




Catena Zapata Winery













Dr. Laura Catena






Dr. Laura Catena






Dr. Laura Catena






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