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While president of Bodegas Escorihuela, Ernesto felt the need to produce wines that would reflect his basic beliefs: high quality, a different style from the majority of wines being made at the time, smaller volumes and a strong brand concept. In 2002, Ernesto Catena Vineyards was created to express those beliefs. Most of the grapes, and in the case of Siesta all of the grapes, come from Ernesto’s Vistaflores vineyard, located in the heart of Vistaflores (in the Uco Valley in Mendoza) at 3576 feet above sea level. The property is 178 acres in total, with 116 acres under vine, planted mainly with Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Cabernet Franc.
The vineyard was certified organic in 2011 by Letis, a company based in Argentina with full IFOAM accreditation. They are also in the process of gaining Demeter biodynamic certification, which will be complete in 2012. Construction of a full winery is under design; in the meantime, the grapes are crushed at Catena Zapata and Escorihuela. Bernardo Bossi is winemaker, and he also works at Catena Zapata, on chief winemaker Alejandro Vigil’s team.
Ernesto Catena is the eldest son of Nicolás Catena of Catena Zapata. A 4th generation winemaker, Ernesto has traveled and lived around the world, and along the way has earned a Bachelors degree in Computer Science and Economy, a Master’s in Design in Milan and a degree in history in London. Defined by many as the “bohemian” side of the Catena family, Ernesto is a tireless and avid reader, painter, art collector, horseman, polo player and archer.
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