Tablas Creek Vineyard
Tablas Creek Vineyard is the result of a decades-long friendship between the Perrin family of Chateau de Beaucastel and Robert Haas, longtime importer and founder of Vineyard Brands. The families created a partnership in 1985 and in 1989 purchased a 120-acre property in the hilly Las Tablas district of west Paso Robles for its similarities to Chateauneuf du Pape: limestone soils, a favorable climate, and rugged terrain.
Our mixed herd of sheep, alpacas and donkeys help eat down our cover crops and fertilize naturally. Tablas Creek’s wine production is centered around our limestone-rich 120-acre organic estate vineyard. The warm days and cool nights allow our vines to gracefully ripen the Rhone varietals we grow. Our vineyard practices emphasize dry farming and seek to maximize the expression of our terroir. We farm organically, and received our organic certification in January 2003. More recently, we have converted much of the vineyard to use Biodynamic techniques, including our dedicated herd of sheep, alpacas and donkeys who eat down our winter cover crop, fertilize the vineyard with their manure and mix it into the soil with their hooves.
At harvest, each vineyard block is hand-harvested selectively, and we typically make 2-4 passes through each vineyard block, picking only the clusters that are ripe and leaving the others to mature.
We follow the centuries-old Chateauneuf du Pape tradition of blending chosen varietals, which produces wines that we feel are more complex, better balanced, and richer than single varietal wines. Each varietal is hand-harvested when completely ripe and fermented separately. Our winemaking, including native yeast fermentation and the extensive use of large, neutral French oak barrels, preserves the wines’ ties to their soil, climate, and varietal character.
We believe that minimum human intervention in our winemaking process preserves the wine’s link to its place of origin. Winemaker Neil Collins, along with the Haas and Perrin families, look to keep our fingerprints off the young wines. At harvest, each vineyard block is hand-harvested selectively, and we typically make 2-4 passes through each vineyard block at harvest. All Tablas Creek wines are fermented using only native yeasts. White grapes are whole cluster pressed, and the juice is fermented in small and large French oak barrels, mostly neutral, and stainless steel. Red grapes are sorted and destemmed after harvest, and the juice and whole berries moved to stainless steel or 1500-gallon wooden upright fermenters. During fermentation, the must is pumped over, punched down or otherwise inundated twice a day. After fermentation, the red wines are pressed, then blended and aged for one year in 1200-gallon French oak foudres (right). As is traditional in Chateauneuf du Pape, we blend our Rhone varietals to produce wines that are more complex, better balanced, and richer than single varietal wines.