Paso Robles AVA
Wines made in extremely limited quantities soursed from prime vineyard locations in Paso Robles
Producing just 350 cases annually, Torch Cellars is located off Highway 46 West in Paso Robles on California’s Central Coast. The winery was founded in 2013 by Mark Welch and Greg Jelstrom, who strive to make elegant wines from distinctive vineyards in the Willow Creek, El Pomar and Templeton Gap districts of Paso Robles. Together, they are crafting some very special, limited production wines that continue to fly under the radar from most wine enthusiasts.
Winemaker Mark Welch has been in the wine industry for some time, perfecting his craft at such prominent estates as Wild Horse Winery (Paso Robles), Kim Crawford (New Zealand), and Domaine Genevaz (Switzerland). He is currently the assistant winemaker and cellar master at Midnight Cellars (Paso Robles) and an independent PCA/Viticulturist who is responsible for pest and disease assessment for 3,000 acres of wine grapes on the Central Coast. In 2013, he teamed up with Greg Jelstrom to start his own label, Torch Cellars. The name of the winery, ‘Torch,’ is the nickname that was given to Mark by Kenneth Volk of Wild Horse Winery in the early 1990’s. Mark used to have longer, blonder hair that reminded Kenneth Volk of a flashlight or lighter after being in the sun all day. The ‘Torch’ sun symbol is also personal to Mark; the original artwork was made by Mark’s grandmother, who was a very talented artist living in Santa Cruz, California. It was a sun-shaped serving tray made of coral, seashell and coin inlay and covered with resin that was always used when she would entertain guests. Mark thought it was the perfect symbol for his new winery brand, and now the ‘Torch’ sun symbol graces each of his wine labels.
Mark and Greg’s first release was a 2012 Zinfandel from the famed Willow Creek District of Paso Robles. They have since expanded to include Chardonnay, Muscat Blanc, Tempranillo, Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Syrah, Tannat, and Petite Sirah, all sourced from prime vineyard locations in Paso Robles. The wines are made in extremely limited quantities, but the duo enjoys being a small winery and doesn’t have plans to change that anytime soon. Staying small, they can devote more time to managing their business and wine quality. Plus, it’s more personal and they enjoy meeting everyone. We hope our Garagiste Wine Club members enjoy this special selection from Torch Wine Cellars. Cheers!