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Country of Origin: Argentina
Location: Vista Flores, Uco Valley
People: Joanna Foster & Ernesto Catena, Owners | Alejandro Kuschnaroff, Winemaker
Viticulture: Certified Biodynamic
Joanna Foster and her husband Ernesto Catena started to farm biodynamically in 2002 when they planted their vineyard in the Vista Flores subregion of Tunuyán in Argentina’s Uco Valley. Fifteen years later, Stella Crinita was born.
Joanna’s family is from Malaysia, India and the UK. She was raised by her mother, who’s life as an activist took her to Greece and South Asia. Ernesto Catena's family is a multigenerational winemaking family that is well entrenched in Argentina. The couple met in 1995 when Joanna's social and environmental work brought her to Argentina. They married in 2004 and now have three children.
Joanna and Ernesto became interested in natural winemaking in the early 2010s, which ultimately became a driving passion for the couple. All fermentation at Stella Crinita is spontaneous, using nothing more than the native yeast that are present at harvest. No additives or invasive procedures are used in the vinification process, and no SO2 is added at any stage. The winery uses only estate fruit. They do not fine or filter any of the wines. The vineyard has been Demeter certified biodynamic since 2012 and production remains extremely small.
The young Alejandro Kuschnaroff is the head winemaker at Stella Crinita, and he lives close by the estate. Joanna and Ernesto split their time between Argentina, Tuscany, and San Francisco. They remain passionate about social and environmental justice and are guided by these core principles and values.