With Bodega Catena Zapata

Sponsored by Rich Lee, Jay & Carmen Ritz, Chad & Jill Bridge, and Randy Pozsar & Stacy Doster 


Bodega Catena Zapata

Bodega Catena Zapata is a family-owned winery located in Mendoza, Argentina. The winery structure is distinguished by its pyramid-like design based on Mayan architecture.

The winery was founded in 1902 by Italian immigrant Nicola Catena and was passed to his son Domingo.  Domingo’s son, Nicolás Catena Zapata (A.K.A. Nicolás Catena), was a pioneer to introduce European winemaking techniques to Argentina, including the introduction of Malbec and vine growing in high altitudes.  Nicolás Catena’s daughter, Laura Catena, and other members of the Zapata family, have also been involved in the winery.

Winemaker Ernesto (Nesti) Bajda started working in the Catena family’s vineyards in 2002. In 2005 he joined the research team to work on microvinifications to determine the best places in the family’s high-altitude vineyards. Now with more than a dozen vintages behind him, Nesti not only has expertise in research and vineyard management, but he also has a unique knowledge of the precision tools to identify variability in vineyards, which is what he believes are the key to achieving outstanding wines.  A graduate of the Universidad Nacional de Cuyo in Mendoza, Nesti earned his degree in Agricultural Engineering, with specializations in Viticulture and Oenology. Nesti regularly performs opera in a male octet. His favorite piece to perform is Una Furtiva Lagrima from Donizetti’s “L’Elisir d’Amore.”

The new label of their Malbec Argentino, the brainchild of Adrianna, pays hommage to Malbec and its roots in France and subsequent rise in Argentina. Designed by Stranger & Stranger, a packaging design and branding company which specialises in alcoholic drinks, with the artwork supplied by Rick Shaefer, the label depicts four female figures which embody different milestones in the history of Argentina’s treasured grape variety through ten centuries of Malbec.

The first woman, symbolising the birth of Malbec, is Eleanor of Aquitaine. Born in 1137, she was the the Duchess of Aquitaine, Queen consort of France from 1137 to 1152 and later the Queen consort of England from 1154 to 1189.  She is depicted on the label as “a strong, Old World presence, lingering at the bridge in Cahors, where Malbec came into its own”.

The second woman is an immigrant, symbolising the movement of settlers from Europe to the New World which began in earnest in the 16th century. She symbolises the sacrifice of “unknown explorers and adventurers who connected Europe with the Americas”.

The third woman symbolises phylloxera, a microscopic insect that decimated European vines in the late 19th century. Although it is depicted here as female, Laura noted that phylloxera is in fact transgender.  While phylloxera is present in Argentina, Laura added that for reasons that are still not fully understood, it has not taken hold.

The final woman, representing the present day, is Adrianna Catena, after which Catena’s famed Adrianna vineyard was named. At almost 5,000 feet above sea level, the Adrianna vineyard was planted by Nicolás Catena Zapata in Gualtallary with the aim of finding the coolest location for growing vines in Mendoza. It was originally planted with Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay cuttings from France, and with Malbec taken from Lot 18 of the (at the time) 75-year-old Angélica vineyard.


Barcelona Restaurant and Wine Bar

Barcelona Restaurant and Wine Bar is an award-winning Spanish tapas restaurant group. Barcelona was begun in 1995 by Sasa Mahr-Batuz, based on his memories of years of living in Spain and Portugal, and Andy Pforzheimer, based on his 20 years as a chef at world-famous restaurants in France, California and New York.

Beginning with a tiny, 38-seat wine bar they set out to recreate the feel and the look of an evening on the Ramblas. They worked hard and made no compromises to achieve their aims: sophisticated décor that evoked Milan, SoHo, or Rio de Janeiro. Simple, flavor-filled dishes redolent with olive oil, lemon, smoky paprika. A comprehensive list of wines by the glass from around the world, with an emphasis on the lesser-known regions of Spain and Portugal. They were guided not by any places that existed at the time, but only by what they liked, and the way they liked it.

The cuisine is clean and rustic, with tapas shaped by Mediterranean, Spanish, and South American influences. We pride ourselves in preparing tapas both simple and elegant using the finest seasonal picks from local markets and unusual specialties from Spain and the Mediterranean. The flavors are bold, and the ingredients speak for themselves.  Nearly 400 wines are featured on the wine list.