Bodega Catena Zapata Draws $260,000 at Naples Winter Wine Festival

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Argentine winery's unique wine, art, food, and culture auction lot results in extraordinary bid benefitting local children's charities

The energy in the room was incredible

A dazzling journey through Argentina donated by Bodega Catena Zapata exceeded expectations at the Naples Winter Wine Festival auction with a winning bid of $260,000, making it one of the top lots at the leading charity wine auction in the United States. The lot—which combines wine, art, food, and culture in a getaway for four—inspired spirited bidding during the auction, with auctioneer Humphrey Butler hammering it “Sold!” to Joan and Bob Clifford for more than a quarter-million dollars.

“The energy in the room was incredible,” said Dr. Laura Catena, the winery’s managing director. “The driving force was to raise money for children and that got everybody fired up to bid up, up, and up! I adore the Cliffords and I am going to make sure that it is the best trip their family has ever taken.”

The journey begins in Buenos Aires at the Faena Hotel, the glamorous property designed by Philippe Starck in the Puerto Madero neighborhood. Chefs at the city’s top restaurants—Tomás Kalika of Mishiguene, Donato De Santis of Cucina Paradiso, and Germán Martitegui of Tegui—will open their kitchens for private, behind-the-scenes culinary tours. A visit to the studio of the renowned Buenos Aires artist, Luti Vernet, will include sitting for a portrait. And Nicolás Catena, Bodega Catena Zapata’s third-generation winemaker and considered the father of the modern Argentine wine industry, will host an intimate lunch with his wife, Elena.

Then it is on to Mendoza, the country’s premier wine region, with relaxing stays at the Park Hyatt hotel and La Vendimia, the Catena family’s weekend retreat outside the city. An in-depth visit to the Catena Zapata winery, led by Dr. Laura Catena, will include a blending session to create a unique personal bottling to take home, along with other treasures from the Catena cellar that were part of the Naples auction lot, including: double-magnums of Nicolás Catena Zapata, the winery’s flagship blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec, as well as current releases of their pure Malbec releases, including Malbec Argentino, Fortuna Terrae, River Stones, and Mundus Bacillus Terrae.

The trip will conclude with a celebratory night at chef Francis Mallmann’s renowned restaurant, 1884, and tango at Bodegas Caro, the winery that was created in partnership by Nicolás Catena and Domaines Barons de Rothschild, whose holdings include Château Lafite Rothschild.

The generous bid on Bodega Catena Zapata’s donation helped boost the total proceeds of this year’s Naples Winter Wine Festival to $15.15 million. The funds will benefit the Naples Children & Education Foundation, an organization supporting charitable programs in Collier County, FL. Since its inception in 2001, the Naples Winter Wine Festival has raised more than $176 million for children in need.

For further information, interview requests, and images, contact Dan Fredman at dan(at)danfredman(dot)com or 323.899.9463.

About Bodega Catena Zapata:

Bodega Catena Zapata has been at the forefront of wine culture in Argentina since their vineyards were first planted in 1902. Over the past 40 years, the pioneering vision and tireless work ethic of Nicolás Catena Zapata has been rewarded by the fact that Argentine wine now stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the best wines in the world. Nicolás Catena Zapata is the only South American to have received both Decanter’s Man of the Year Award and Wine Spectator’s Distinguished Service Award. Under the current direction of winemaker and managing director Dr. Laura Catena, Bodega Catena Zapata continues to lead Argentina into the next century of winemaking, balancing a ceaseless study of Argentina’s high altitude climate and soils with the family’s century-old heritage. For more information about Bodega Catena Zapata, please visit, or visit Catena’s U.S. Importer at

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