Paso a Paso, a captivating low-intervention wine project rooted in the picturesque Tupungato Valley of Argentina, emerged from the enduring friendship and shared vision of Norberto Páez and Sebastián Bisole. Childhood friends since the age of 12, Norberto and Sebastián not only shared the halls of the Liceo Agrícola Enológico but also ventured into the Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias at the Universidad de Cuyo together.
Everything started in the Experimental Winery of the Agricultural School of Universidad de Cuyo in 2007-2008. For their classes, they carried out oenological trials for different wineries and quickly fell in love with the winemaking process. They began by producing Malbec and Bonarda in a garage and carried out the fermentations in old barrels that they rebuilt. The production from three barrels was a mere 700 bottles, but it was enough to get them hooked. In 2015, they began drafting up the idea for Paso a Paso, and in the spring of 2016, they launched their first vintage for sale in Mendoza.
Different in their personalities but similar in their convictions, Norberto and Sebastián created Paso a Paso to celebrate the place they call home and the art of crafting wine slowly, methodically, step by step (paso a paso). The lineup today includes their original ‘Garage’ Malbec and Bonarda, plus white, clarete, and orange wines. The latter three are focused on Criolla grapes, which Norberto and Sebastián have steadfastly worked to revive in Mendoza. ‘Criolla’ is the name given to a grape variety resulting from the cross-breeding of Vitis vinifera species introduced to the area by Spanish conquistadores in the 16th century. They are unique to South America, and often times, they are lost in abandoned vineyards. By working with the original growers of these varieties, Norberto and Sebastián are pioneers in the revival of the Criolla grapes in Mendoza. The Bonarda and Malbec come from certified organic vineyards in the Uco Valley. In the cellar, the winemaking is in either stainless steel or concrete; oak is avoided to showcase typicity and varietal character. The resulting wines are a delight to drink – zippy, energetic, and deeply rich in flavor despite their lighter frames. Paso a Paso is an Argentine project to watch for anyone who cares about low intervention, soulful wines of place.