Diablo Paso offers a taste of Spain in every bottle

Enrique and Nora Torres share a glass of wine a toast to the success of the new Diablo Paso tasting room. (Photo by Allyson Woolley)

Walking into Diablo Paso’s new tasting room, one can’t help but be struck by Enrique and Nora Torres’s passion for their wines and each other. Diablo Paso opened the new tasting room in the heart of Paso Robles downtown at 1220 Park St. in August 2018 and are wowing visitors with their Spanish wine varietals.

The couple met when the idea of making wine was a distant dream yet to be realized by Enrique when he was bartender and restaurant manager of a high-end eatery in Mexico. Nora said that she was traveling and studying Spanish at the time and was taken by his good looks and natural charm.

“I was traveling and studying Spanish and just happened upon him in this beautiful town of Zihuatanejo and he was really charming and handsome, and he said he would be my tour guide and we kept in touch,” she said. “Then I went back to the East Coast and at the end of 2001, I came to visit him as he was finishing his first harvest. So, I met him before he was really into wine and saw his passion for it develop into Diablo Paso. Enrique is really inspired and had a vision. He even had the name Diablo Paso when he laid down his first barrel in 2007. I remember he had such a clear direction and vision that I think is wonderful.”

Enrique started at the bottom of the barrel as a cellar rat at Martin & Weyrich under winemaker Alan Kinne, who has been referred to as the godfather of Tempranillo and Albariño. Enrique really attributes his success to the experience of working up from the bottom and mentoring from successful winemakers in the field.

“I have been in Paso since harvest of 2001 when I start as a cellar rat at Martin and Weyrick Winery,” Enrique said from behind the new tasting room bar. “So, I worked with them for 10 years from being a cellar rat to become the assistant winemaker. One of the reasons I focus on the Spanish varieties is because I saw the opportunity to do it and I love winemaking. I was really inspired by my mentor Alan Kinne who brought some Spanish cuttings from Spain that he cut himself. So, the Albariño that you see in the Central Coast is the Kinne clone and working with him for 15 harvests, I developed a passion for these Spanish varietals that were mostly used in blends when I started out. Working with Alan I developed a respect for Old World-style of winemaking and that is why our wines are so unique. Every bottle of Diablo Paso wine offers a new experience. We started Diablo Paso in 2012 as a side project at 50 cases and now we are up to 1,000 cases and opened our new tasting room. It is amazing.”

The tasting room offers a comfortable and inviting experience. They have a long granite tasting bar, a lounge area with plush furnishings, round bar tables for the intimate party of friends and a patio out in front. Their offerings include a 2018 blend of Albariño called Guanabana, two 2018 Rosés, the first is called Sin Pecado and is a blend of Garnacha, Albariño and Tempranillo and the second is called Maracuyá that is made with Graciano. The Torres’s also offer a 2016 Garnacha, a 2016 El Macho blend of Garnacha, Graciano and Tempranillo; and a 2016 Tempranillo.

The Torres’s also have plans to offer cigars for purchase at their tasting room and Enrique is in the development and planning stages to create his next wine label program. The new brand will be called Enrique Torres and will focus on the classic Bordeaux styles utilizing varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Petite Verdot.

“These will come out next spring,” Enrique said expressing that it will give him more freedom to make and work with new wine varietals. “The label is 90 percent done and I am really excited to share this, and we are working with small producers out of the Adelaide district to source our grapes for this program. I really love wine in general, so it is nice to get to work with all the varieties that are out there.”

It all began with their chance meeting in Zihuatanejo for the Torres family and today they can share that love story and the fruits of their labor with all who visit Diablo Paso tasting room. Nora said, “We have really made Paso our home, raising our two sons here and being a part of the wine community is amazing. We are so proud of what we have created here, Enrique added.” To learn more about Diablo Paso, their wines, and new developments visit, diablopasowines.com.

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