Marian Miner Cook

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Saving Malbec: A Medical Doctor’s Journey to Elevating Argentina's Wines and People One Vine at a Time

Mon, February 19, 2024
Dinner Program
Laura Catena P'24

Join Dr. Laura Catena P'24, a Harvard- and Stanford-trained biologist and physician, managing director of Bodega Catena Zapata, and the founder of the Catena Institute of Wine in Argentina, as she discusses preserving the genetically diverse Malbec vines in Argentina which no longer exist in Europe, and recounts the story of how her family turned Malbec into Argentina’s signature wine variety. Learn how a combination of research, hard work, luck in finding extraordinary vineyard sites, and great storytelling brought them to their goals, and how this endeavor has enriched and elevated the lives of Argentinians and wine lovers all over the world.

Dr. Laura Catena P'24 is a Harvard- and Stanford-trained biologist and physician, and the founder of the Catena Institute of Wine in Argentina. The Institute is dedicated to preserving the Malbec variety and to elevating Argentine wine. She is currently managing director of Bodega Catena Zapata (Est. 1902) and of Luca Winery. In 2023, Catena Zapata was voted #1 World’s Best Vineyard by a group of 500 food, wine and travel writers, and for three years in a row, Catena Zapata was Vivino’s most awarded winery in the world. Laura has been called the “face” of Argentine wine and is author of Argentina’s definitive wine guide Vino Argentino.  Laura's second book, Gold in the Vineyards, an illustrated book about the world’s most famous vineyards, was released in 2020 and won the Gourmand Award for Best in Wine History.  Her third book, Malbec Mon Amour (co-authored with Alejandro Vigil) was featured in the New York Times and was a best seller in Argentina. Dr. Catena has been on the Executive Board of the UC Davis School of Viticulture and Enology since 2017, and is the current Honorary President of WSET, Wine and Spirits Education Trust (the world’s largest wine education organization). Dr. Catena is recipient of multiple awards including 2023 Old Vine Hero and 2022 Drinks Business Woman of the Year.  Follow her on Instagram at @LauracatenaMD

Dr. Catena is the featured parent speaker for Family Weekend 2024.

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Claremont McKenna College
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