If the label of La Posta feels like a mix of Art Deco and Old World, that’s exactly right. The name of La Posta is a nod to local taverns where grape growers, often of Italian heritage, congregate locally. Known as “Postas,” those small water holes were central to La Posta founder and fourth generation vintner Laura Catena as she slowly grew her network of small growers working with old vines on generational plots of land. 45% of Mendoza’s vineyards are owned by small growers who own less than 5 hectares (10 acres) of vines, so La Posta is focused on showcasing Grower Malbec, offering single-grower or single-vineyard wines at affordable prices.
A female-led business focused on local farmers yet with a great sense of style? We had to talk to Laura to learn more!
Wine is part of your heritage. What has made you decide to carry on the tradition?
The beauty of the countryside and the spirit of the people from Mendoza. The mountain skies are unpolluted, the stars are so bright that you can see your way around at night even when the moon is at its smallest. The vineyards are full of animals, plant and microbial life, and people enjoy simple pleasures: the weekend “asado” barbecue where every single family member shows up; the afternoon gathering at the local park or bar; most couples have the “girl’s night out” and the “men’s night out” as never-changing days that continue for decades. We discover new regions, new flavors, new extraordinary flavors within century old vineyards, but the respect for nature and for our vintner ancestors is always there. You can’t find a family in Mendoza where somebody is not working in wine.
You are both a vintner and a doctor- overachiever, much? But what does it mean to be a vintner? What’s your day to day?
When I am in Mendoza, I spend my days walking the vineyards, tasting grapes, having a “mate tea” with the vineyard caretakers, looking at parts of the vineyard that need a little extra help with compost or better pruning, tasting the components of our blends at the winery. It is never ever boring and at the end of the day my heart is filled with nature and the love I have for the people I work with, which includes my father who is the greatest mentor that I could have ever asked for. He always asks for my opinion before giving his, since I was a little girl, and even when I started working with him and I didn’t know much at all because I was a practicing doctor with a degree in biology, but not formally trained in winemaking.
We have to say, we love your label. What inspired the design?
La Posta was inspired by the sign-posts and labels that existed in my grandfather’s time. They also have the touch and feel of Italian Vermouth labels; 70% of Argentines are of Italian heritage so I am often inspired by Italian aesthetics. La Posta means Post Office in Italian, and gathering place in Argentinian Spanish.
What are you especially excited about in the world of Argentinian wines currently?
What excites me today is not too different from what excited me over two decades ago when I started working in wine; the nature, the people and the incredible diversity of climates, soils and flavors. I also love the fact that Malbec, a variety that has existed for 2,000 years like Pinot Noir would have become extinct (despite being among the most famous in France from the Middle Ages to the early 19th Century) were it not for its rebirth in Argentina. Our family played an important role in the renaissance of Malbec, and we are all super proud about this.
What’s next for La Posta?
More great wine that speaks for place and for my country’s traditions that have been maintained through generations. Although life as a farmer is hard, because some years are easier than others, every year we try to make the best wine we’ve ever made, and that is a sort of roller-coaster feeling that keeps us all going. I am excited to see that in many of the La Posta grower families, I am starting to work with the new generations, and the women are now in charge in many cases!!! that is so incredibly exciting for me because I was so alone at the beginning. Angel Paulucci’s granddaughter is now in charge of the viticulture at Paulucci Vineyards, and Pizzella’s daughters are involved in the family vineyard and have been since they were teenagers.