The Doctor's (Winemaking) Advice
WINE&DINE|July - August 2020
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The Doctor's (Winemaking) Advice
Dr. Laura Catena, the fourth generation winemaker of Argentina’s Catena Zapata and a former emergency medicine physician, talks about the dual roles that have come to define her career.
Lin Weiwen

DIFFERENT AMBITION. I studied biology at Harvard University and graduated in 1988. But I also wanted to be in a field where I could help people every day (and thus went on to pursue medicine); I wanted to pave my own path, one that was different from the family business. Like most young people, I was very independent. Wine was more like a hobby for me: I used to travel to France with my father as his translator and loved all the stories I heard about the wines.

JOINING THE FAMILY. After I had finished my medical training, my father asked me to represent Catena Zapata at the New York Wine Experience tasting. At the event, there were long lines of people waiting to taste European and Californian wines, but few were interested in our Argentinian wines because they didn’t know anything about them. I realised that my family and my country needed help, so I asked my father for a job at the winery. He was very happy about my decision. When I asked him why he didn’t try to sell me the idea of working for the winery sooner, he said both his father and grandfather believed that children should work for the family business out of their own desire.


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July - August 2020