Ernesto Catena, the owner of Ernesto Catena Vineyards in Argentina, is the eldest son of Nicolás Catena of Catena Zapata. A 4th generation winemaker, Ernesto has traveled and lived around the world, and along the way has earned a Bachelors degree in Computer Science and Economy, a Master’s in Design in Milan and a degree in history in London. Defined by many as the “bohemian” side of the Catena family, Ernesto is a tireless and avid reader, painter, art collector, horseman, polo player and archer. While president of Bodegas Escorihuela, Ernesto felt the need to produce wines that would reflect his basic beliefs: high quality, a different style from the majority of wines being made at the time, smaller volumes and a strong brand concept. In 2002, Ernesto Catena Vineyards was created to express those beliefs.
Alma Negra means “Black Soul”, because the color of the wines made from the bonarda grape is deep and intense. The the first wines made, which where all reds, had a real “black soul” when you saw them in the glass. Ernesto also wanted to create a wine about which little was known, the composition or technical details, so that the wine was judged solely on how the taster perceived it. When the line was launched in 2006, the wines were named Misterio, and the mask on the label was a symbol for a hidden identity or mystery.