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A service for global professionals · Thursday, March 30, 2023 · 625,029,986 Articles · 3+ Million Readers

Dr. Laura Catena Wins Old Vine Hero Award 2023

This logo represents the Old Vine Hero conference

Old Vine Hero

a photo of Dr. Laura Catena in a vineyard

Dr. Laura Catena credit Horatio Paone

The Old Vine Conference announced the winner of the first Old Vine Hero Award at an intimate dinner for the Old Vine Conference community in London.

I found that we had thousands of hectares of old Malbec vines. I set out to make wine from these beautiful old vineyards and to preserve their genetically diverse massale selections.”
— Dr. Laura Catena
LONDON, UK, March 17, 2023 / -- Dr. Laura Catena accepted the award for her longstanding commitment to promoting and protecting the future of Old Vine Malbec in Argentina and for her work at the Catena Institute preserving massale and clonal selections of Argentine pre-phylloxeric malbec, assuring that Argentina’s extraordinary old vine genetic diversity is not lost.

Established to recognise the dedication, tenacity, talents and work of those working with old vines and their wines, the Old Vine Hero Award received 85 nominations from 15 different countries. The 85 nominations were narrowed down by an expert panel of judges to a shortlist of 8 Old Vine Heroes considered to be making the greatest contribution towards the positive progression of the old vine movement.

“The entries were remarkable for their geographical range, from Armenia to South Africa, and also for the huge diversity of people that were nominated, from winegrowers cultivating tiny vineyards to CEOs managing huge estates, from farmers to academics, from complete unknowns to iconic figures in the wine world. But more than anything, I was struck by the passion behind the entries – the people nominating their heroes really believed in the work their heroes are doing. I saw a depth of awareness and genuine care that was very moving. Just reading the entries was very rewarding and inspiration for me personally. I wanted to give everyone the award!” Tamlyn Currin, Old Vine Hero Award judge, sustainability editor and staff writer at

The Old Vine Conference announced the 8 shortlisted nominees on 3rd March and enlisted the help of the global wine community to vote for the winner. Voting closed at midnight on 13th March 2023 with a total of 4,029 votes having been cast.

“Opening the award up to a vote has empowered the global wine community to actively participate in the old vine conversation. Each vote has helped to raise awareness, understanding and appreciation of some of the most inspiring and valuable work being done to nurture old vines around the world. We’re thankful to those that took the time to nominate their heroes, to our esteemed panel of judges who gave their time and expertise on a voluntary basis to help us and to everyone that voted.” Sarah Abbott MW, co-founder, The Old Vine Conference

The Prize
The winner of The Old Vine Hero Award 2023 will be invited to speak about their work with old vines at The Old Vine Conference 2023 taking place virtually on Thursday 19th and Friday 20th October. The winner will also receive one year’s honorary membership to The Old Vine Conference community worth up to £2,400.

“When I started working in wine in the 1990’s, it seemed like Old Vines were mostly valued in Europe. Then I found that we had thousands of hectares of old Malbec vines in Argentina which were in the process of being pulled out for replanting. I am an Emergency Doctor by training, and I can recognise an emergency when I see one. I set out to make wine from these beautiful old vineyards and then to preserve their genetically diverse massale selections. The Our Old Vines conference has done so much to increase awareness of Old Vines around the world, and I am extremely grateful for their work and to be receiving the Old Vine Hero Award."
Dr. Laura Catena, Founder of the Catena Institute of Wine and Managing Director Catena Zapata, Luca Wines and Domaine Nico

The Old Vine Hero Award Shortlisted nominees:
1. Derek Mossman-Knapp & Pilar Miranda, Garage Wine Co., Chile
2. Katie Jones, Owner & Winemaker, Domaine Jones, South of France
3. Pierpaolo Sirch, Director of Production, Feudi di San Gregorio, Irpinia, Italy
4. Gomidas Merjanian, Dzon Merjanian Vineyards, Armenia
5. Tomás Roquette, Quinta do Crasto, Douro, Portugal
6. Jose Mª Ayuso & Victoria Gonzalez - Gordon: Angel de Viñas, Gonzalez Byass', Spain
7. Dr. Laura Catena, Managing Director, Catena Zapata & Founder, Catena Institute of Wine
8. Rebecca Robinson, Executive Director, ZAP (Zinfandel Advocates and Producers)

The Old Vine Hero Award judging panel:

The Old Vine Conference Global team:
Sarah Abbott MW, Alun Griffiths MW, Leo Austin & Belinda Stone
The Old Vine Conference Regional Ambassadors:
Jane Anson, Louise Hurren, Umay Çeviker, Lilla O'Connor, Michèle Shah, Amanda Barnes, Anna Harris-Noble, Yiannis Karakasis MW and André Morgenthal
Independent specialists: Tamlyn Currin (, Dan Saladino (author and journalist), David Kermode (presenter, judge & journalist)

About The Old Vine Conference:
The Old Vine Conference is a non-profit organisation co-founded in 2021 by Sarah Abbott MW, Alun Griffiths MW and Leo Austin. Its aim is to bring together a global network and create a new
category for wine from heritage vineyards. The Old Vine Conference is changing the path for old
vines and their wines and in its first 2 years has contributed exponentially to the awareness,
understanding and support of the global old vine movement. The first conference took place in
March 2021.

The Old Vine Conference is funded by a combination of sponsorship, and trade, winery and individual membership.

Nominations for the Old Vine Hero Award 2024 will open in January 2024.

Erica Nonni
Nonni Strategic Marketing
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