CARO was born of the alliance between two wine cultures (French and Argentine), two noble grape varieties (Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec), and two renowned wine families, Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) and Nicolás Catena. Vignerons since the 19th century, these two powerful organizations have combined their deep knowledge of Mendoza's high altitude terroir and the art of winemaking to create a unique wine: CARO. Two noble grapes, two families, one dear and elegant wine.
The idea of forming a partnership between Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) and the Catena family was born in 1999. Initial enthusiasm quickly became a concrete plan to produce a single wine that would combine French and Argentine cultures and the two signature grapes of each producer, Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon.
The Catena family has produced wine for three generations. Consequently, it was able to draw on its vast knowledge of the high altitude terroirs of the Mendoza region as well as its passion for Malbec to find the best vineyards. DBR (Lafite) contributed its centuries-old skills in growing, vinifying and ageing great Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as its know-how in blending different grape varieties to produce one wine that is greater than the sum of its parts.
Exchanges and selection work began in 1999 to produce CARO’s first vintage in 2000. The success of the early vintages resulted in the creation of another wine in 2003: AMANCAYA which, like its older brother, is based on a harmonious balance between Argentinian identity and Bordeaux style. Bodegas CARO then decided to celebrate the grape variety for which Argentina’s vineyards are famous by selecting a pure Malbec, ARUMA, starting with the 2010 vintage.
The vineyard locations for the Cabernet Sauvignon are 40% from a 20-year-old vineyard in Agrelo, a region 3,117 feet in elevation, and 10% from 30-year old vines in El Cepillo la Consulta, with an elevation of 3,773 feet. The vineyard locations for Malbec are 10% from a 12 year old vineyard in Tupungato at 4,593 feet elevation and also 40% from a 53-year-old vineyard in Vistalba, at 3,609 feet elevation. Throughout the season we monitor the vineyard technique, irrigation management and bud thinning to ensure low yields in balance with the canopy, good ventilation and illumination.
Fernando Buscema is a passionate winemaker and researcher. He is a fifth-generation winemaker and was born in the heart of Mendoza, one of the world’s most well-known winemaking regions. After graduating with honors at Don Bosco School of Enology, Fernando joined the Catena Zapata family in 2005. In 2007, after showing a clear devotion for quality and attention to detail, he became Research & Development Director.
Fernando has vast international winemaking experience and has worked in several wineries in Italy and California. In 2012, Buscema earned a master’s degree from the Department of Viticulture and Enology at the prestigious University of California, Davis. While at UC Davis, Buscema worked and lectured with famous professor Dr. Roger Boulton. Particularly, Fernando was engaged in groundbreaking research regarding growing Malbec in various geographic areas in Argentina and the United States.
In November 2012, Buscema joined Bodegas CARO as Technical Director. Since then, Fernando has overseen the winemaking at CARO with the collaboration of the technical team from Domaines Barons de Rothschild. When not entrenched in the demands of winemaking, Buscema enjoys having traditional Argentine asado with his friends, reading a good book, playing soccer and skiing.