Bodega Catena Zapata: the most admired wine brand in the Americas 

Bodega Catena Zapata

Bodega Catena Zapata’s status as the “Most Admired Wine Brand in South America” was announced by the magazine Drinks International, which organizes The World’s Most Admired Wine Brands list. The distinction evaluates the wineries and their wines, identifying those that stand out for their quality and prestige across the world. For this edition, the Catena family enterprise came in second while Penfolds from Australia was named third, keeping their title as the most admired wine brand in Australia and Asia. 

The director of oenology at Bodega Catena Zapata, Laura Catena, said she was thrilled by the award as it highlights the consistency of the winery’s work over the decades: “For several years now we’ve been placing very well on this prestigious list. I think that it shows the consistency of the work that Bodega Catena Zapata has been doing in viticulture and communications and everything that must be done well for a project to earn admiration.”  

The top ten of The World’s Most Admired Wine Brands for 2024 is as follows: 

1. Familia Torres (Spain).

2. Catena Zapata (Argentina)

3. Penfolds (Australia).

4. Antinori (Italy)

5. Chateau D’yquem (France)

6. Vega Sicilia (Spain)

7. Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (France).

8. Chateau Margaux (France)

9. CVNE (Spain)

10. Gaja (Italy)

Exclusive interview with Laura Catena from Bodega Catena Zapata

Bodega Catena Zapata

What do you believe are the qualities that the world most admires about Catena Zapata?

This is a vote held among the industry, which has seen us grow since we were founded and especially from the 90s onward when my father was the first to sell premium Argentine wines to the world. At the time, premium wine didn’t exist in South America, Chile wasn’t producing high-end wines. People have seen how hard we work, first at establishing the Argentina category, then Grand Cru wines from Argentina, the Catena Institute, research, promotion and marketing, endless travel. My father, my sister and myself, and everyone who works for Bodega Catena Zapata, are always promoting Argentina to fulfill my father’s ultimate goal of showing that our wines are among the best in the world.

The people who voted work in the global wine industry and they’ve seen us grow, they’ve seen how we work, and they’ve witnessed our success. Today, Bodega Catena Zapata has more wines that have earned 100-point scores than any other winery in South America, we’ve just won World’s Best Vineyard, we’ve won a number of awards. I think that they vote for us because they admire and like the work we do, and that it’s having the right effect. At the end of the day, our wines sell.

I always say that I hope that, before I die, the cellar of every collector in the world will have an Argentine wine section and I think that with White Bones and White Stones, the Adriana and Nicolás vineyards, and Argentine Malbec in general, we’re achieving that. Which is why we’ve been voted in first, second and third place so often.  

You’ve been in the top 5 of this ranking for several years now. What’s the secret to staying there and what challenges are involved in staying at the forefront of the minds of consumers and industry figures?  

It’s a difficult market right now, wine consumption has dropped a little. In part, that’s because people are consuming more moderately after the pandemic and as a doctor I support that. I think that the secret is maintaining our quality. When I asked my father what marketing meant, he said “Laurita, the most important thing is to win out on quality. If you can produce a product that’s twice as good as that of your competitors at the same price, you’re going to win.

Bodega Catena Zapata

Which is why we blind taste wines that we’re planning on selling for 20 dollars against wines that cost 40 dollars. If ours rate at the same level, then that’s great, done, the price is right. And I believe in the idea of always delivering something better for the consumer; we constantly work at improving our quality, we try to have the best vineyards, farmed organically. We go to extreme lengths to care for our vineyard, commissioning studies to preserve the ecosystem, to ensure that the plants are happy, free of disease, that the old vines are cared for.

That is the wonderful work being done by Luis Reginato and his team, which at the end of the day guarantees quality. The first challenge is to maintain that level, and never produce more than you can to the highest standards. Then you need to keep working, travelling and taking care of your vineyards so they keep producing at that level.  

Without a doubt, this honor is important to the Argentine wine industry in general. How do awards like this help a country’s industry? 

You might wonder at the fact that a French winery isn’t in the top three.  Chateau D’Yquem is the first at number 5. At Catena Zapata, we’ve been exporting for some time. Since my father began, we’ve been pioneers in a lot of different markets, we’re distributed in over 65 countries and that’s a way of flying the Argentine flag. We have football, tango and beef – although maybe people don’t know about the beef so much – and today we have high-end wines as representatives of our country.

The country is still often associated with bad news but we have our wine and I think that our great Argentine wines show that in Argentina we know how to do certain things very well. And that’s very good for the image of the country, for Argentinians and for us.  

If you found this article interesting, you can read more about Argentine wine here.  


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