Winemakers Tom and Emma Holt launch Paso-Prima 2017, a wine with a conscience

A Shrewsbury couple who left their home to travel the world and pursue the dream of making their own wines has launched the latest entry in the Paso-Prima series.

Paso-Prima 2017
Paso-Prima 2017

Now in their fifth year of production in the Spanish Pyrenees Tom and Emma Holt continues to increase their portfolio in quality and diversity.

The couple say they are proud to announce their boldest wine to date which combines a commitment to cork with an extra charitable twist.

Paso-Prima 2017 is a blend of Garnacha and Cabernet-Sauvignon, bottled under cork and a percentage of the profits will be going to the British Trust for Ornithology.

Paso-Prima 2017 is big, bold and bursting with bramble fruit, dark cherries and black currants in this heady mix of deep complexity and ripe fruit.

This wine is the latest entry into winemakers Tom and Emma Holt’s Paso-Prima series which sees a completely different wine released every year instead of sticking to a standard formula.

Tom said: “Paso-Prima is our response to mainstream wines no longer showing vintage variability. So many big brands ignore the variable flavours found in different vintages in an effort to create a consistent product but to me, this misses one of the most exciting factors influencing wine. This homogenises the market place and makes drinking wine a lot less interesting”.

“The conditions our grapes grow in change every year so instead of hiding from the differences we wanted to highlight and celebrate them. That’s why each Paso-Prima is completely unique; it could only be made in that specific year and is simply the best wine we could make regardless of varietal or style.”

Highlighting issues that impact the wine industry

Tom and Emma also want to use Paso-Prima as a platform for highlighting issues that impact the wine industry, and this vintage is all about cork.

“For us it seemed perfectly natural to use them but it became clear that we had to explain why”, says Tom, “We have to use screwcaps for some wines to be commercially viable but still believe that corks are the best closure, especially for our bigger wines that are designed to have a bit of age”.

Emma added: “It’s important to us that as well as making the best wines possible we have an understanding of our impact on our local community whether socially, economically or environmentally”.

“We wanted to highlight the essential role that cork forests play in local and global biodiversity. Many long distance migrant birds like Nightingale, Pied Flycatcher, Spotted Flycatcher and Redstart are showing large declines and they rely on the cork oaks and the insects that live in them to fuel their onwards flight. They also provide breeding grounds for some of the most endangered species of bird on the planet and are home to some of our company’s mascots; the Wren.”

“All of our labels feature a Wren which can be found in our home town of Shrewsbury and Somontano where we make our wines. It’s a little nod to where we’ve come from and where we’ve got to and it means a lot to us so we think we should help look after it.”

The couple asked artist Lyn Evans to design the label for Paso-Prima 2017 which is a collage of the famed mascot. To add to the message the collage was created out of magazines published by the British Trust for Ornithology.

The BTO is an independent charitable research institute who work with organisations all over the world to use evidence of changes in wildlife populations, particularly birds, to inform the public, opinion-formers and environmental policy decision-makers. This charity is at the very heart of the 2017 Paso-Prima with Tom and Emma donating 25% of their profits to fund further research.

Paso-Prima 2017 is available from – Tanners Wine Merchants and direct from