(Decanter) Alejandro Vigil is director of production, vineyards and wineries at Catena Zapata, and was named president of Wines of Argentina in April. Besides leading the Catena family’s wine projects, he also runs Chachingo craft brewery and a slew of pubs and restaurants in Mendoza.
How did you get here?
My journey started at INTA [the National Institute of Agricultural Technology in Argentina] in 1996, when it opened a specialised soils department in Luján de Cuyo, and I really got to know about Argentinian viticulture. I met experts, technicians and winery owners around the country, which led to my crossing over to the private sector 22 years ago. I’ve been Catena Zapata’s head of oenology for 18 years. But it’s really about the people: I’ve worked with 80% of the vineyards in Uco Valley, and that’s a real swathe of knowledge.
What’s the best thing about your job?
I’m always encouraged by walking around a vineyard year round, sensing it and living with it, then expressing it year after year. Wine doesn’t come to life when you ferment grapes, it’s born each year when we prune. The best part is interpreting nature through wine. There’s a famous saying, ‘bottling the landscape’, and I love doing just that, capturing Argentina – La Pampa, Mendoza, Salta, everywhere I work.