FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Paso Robles) - Effective December 31, 2002, Tablas Creek Vineyard was certified in accordance with the USDA National Organic Standards by Organic Certifiers of Ventura, California. The founders of Tablas Creek Vineyard believe that farming organically allows the grapes to more clearly reflect the character of where they are grown, and promotes the long-term health of the vineyard. This belief led them to farm organically from the inception of the project in 1989. With new federal standards coming into force October 21, 2002, they decided to pursue certification.
Organic farming at Tablas Creek Vineyard stems from the partnership between the Perrin family of Chateau de Beaucastel in Châteauneuf de Pape, France, and importer Robert Haas. Jacques Perrin began experiments with organic farming at the Beaucastel estate in the 1950s, and the estate has been completely organic for three decades. Tablas Creek Vineyard continues the tradition begun at Chateau de Beaucastel.
Organic farming at Tablas Creek includes initiatives on weed control, pest control, mildew control, and fertilization. Weed control is accomplished by a balance of hand-hoeing, weed burning, and the use of a computer-sensing tractor attachment to allow cultivation among the vines. Cover crops control pests by harboring beneficial insects, and outbreaks are controlled by the periodic release of predatory insects. Naturally mined sulfur controls mildew, although sulfur is being phased out in favor of compost tea from the vineyard's compost pile. Finally, nitrogen-fixing cover crops, the tilling under of those crops in the spring, and compost tea drips fertilize the soil naturally.
Neil Collins, Vineyard Manager and Winemaker at Tablas Creek, describes the logic of organic viticulture as an exercise in balance. Pesticides, for example, kill all insects, beneficial and harmful, and leave artificially pristine vines. As the pesticides dissipate, these vines provide food only for insects that prey on vines. Outbreaks of these insects can balloon out of control before carnivorous insect populations can recover and restore equilibrium. Further applications of pesticides perpetuate the cycle.
This February 25-26, Tablas Creek Vineyard will co-host a seminar on organic viticulture led by organic viticulture guru "Amigo" Bob Cantisano. With the participation of co-hosts Turley Vineyards and Fetzer Vineyards, the seminar will cover topics such as cover cropping, compost tea, beneficial insect habitat creation, vine nutrition management, erosion control, irrigation for insect and disease resistance, and strategies for transitioning from conventional to organic vineyards.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Neil Collins, Vineyard Manager and Winemaker
Tablas Creek Vineyard
Join us for Paso Robles' annual harvest celebration the weekend of October 16th-18th
All weekend: Visit our tasting room for a first look at our newest Esprit de Tablas wines from the 2013 vintage.
Friday night: Enjoy a four-course, four-wine dinner at McPhee's Grill in Templeton. $105/per person; reservations are essential. Details »
Saturday: Our winemakers will be leading interactive harvest cellar tours 10:30, 12:00, 2:00, 3:30 (20 guest limit). Free to all; no reservations needed. Details »
We are pleased to have been included in recent articles in The New York Times (on creative responses to California's drought) and the Washington Post (on our 11 new AVA's) and to see the attention for Paso Robles. More recent press »
We are thrilled to announce that we've received our shipping permit from the great state of Massachusetts. Residents of the Bay State can now order wine or become VINsider Wine Club members. More shipping news »
October 2, 2015
By: Lauren Phelps
I arrived at the vineyard today at 4:00 AM in the crisp morning air to photograph the "night harvest" of one of our last blocks of Mourvedre. Our crew used only head-lamps and the lights from the tractors to harvest which was challenging to photograph and made for some very interesting and rewarding shots. Read More »