In 1994, Nicolás Catena made the first premium varietal Malbec to be exported world-wide from Argentina. It took fifteen years of vineyard research and three years of experimentation at the winery before Nicolas and daughter Laura could decide to bottle the first Catena Malbec. Over the next two years, they identified their best vineyard rows of Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Malbec and made the first vintages of the Catena Alta wines in very small quantities. Catena Alta continues to be a limited production of single varietal wines made from a selected few rows in the Catena family's vineyards. These special barrels undergo a rigorous second selection at the winery. The Catena Alta wines can usually be drunk starting at three years after harvest and into the following one to two decades.