Laura Catena - General Manager, Bodega Catena Zapata (Argentina)
Years In Industry:
Officially I started in 1995, 23 years ago, the same year I finished my medical residency. Emergency Room doctors work 12 days a month, because of all the nights and weekends, so I had time to start with the winery on the technical and viticultural side. Eventually I moved into exports and sales, and now I'm the GM. Unofficially I started with the winery when I was 18 and started going to France and drinking great wines with my Dad, who was figuring out what it took to make a Grand Cru.
My Biggest Challenge To Wellness:
Selling wine all over the world, in different time zones, with lots of late night conversations. So I get really organized. Eighty percent of my calendar is organized three weeks in advance, because I spend four or five hours on conference calls with Argentina every day. You know when’s your free time, and you get back to people on time too.
Staying on top of all the diseases and the technology around them -- both viticultural and medical -- is also a big challenge and my obligation.
I also spend extended periods of time abroad with my family. There’s something about being in a different country, especially a Latin country, that's much more relaxing in many ways. It recharges me.
How I Keep It Together To Stay Well:
We have a system for keeping track of things, that combines email and scheduling time to talk to people. After every two emails, the third encounter is a phone call. It's an unwritten Catena-wide rule. Staying connected makes me stay well.
I also think that working in mixed teams, with both men and women, is much more conducive to wellness. Everybody learns from each other. When you have a male colleague you can talk about how you handle having two working parents, and you aren’t just talking to other women. For men having a female colleague, it makes them understand their wife better.
Finally, once in a while, I take an Ambien for sleep. The research shows that we should try to get on the new time zone as quickly as you can, so I take a sleeping pill on my flight there and then on my first night in the new place. That's it. Taking three drinks to get yourself to sleep is a lot worse.
You can connect with Laura on Instagram or through the Catena Wines website.