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After Years of Natural Viticulture, Tablas Creek Vineyard Certified Organic



(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.

View a larger image of the organic certificate.

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.

Neil Collins, Vineyard Manager and Winemaker
Tablas Creek Vineyard
Phone: 805-237-1231


2014 Barrel Tasting and En Primeur Offering

On December 5th, all Tablas Creek wine club members are invited to join Tablas Creek's winemakers at one of two sessions (10:30am or 1:30pm) to taste the 2014 Esprit de Tablas and 2014 Panoplie from barrel, discuss the vintage, and enjoy a seasonal dish created to pair with the wines. The $30 cost to attend the event is refundable on any en primeur purchase.  Because of the limited space at this exclusive event, club members may bring no more than 2 guests. Details »

Whether or not they attend the tasting, members may order futures at an additional 5% off of the member club discount, typically 25%-30% off eventual release price. Members should look forward to receiving an invitation to the futures tasting and en primeur offering in the mail in early November. 

Tablas Creek News

Tablas Creek in The New York Times and Washington Post in August

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 »

MA Shipping Permit Received!

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 »

On the Tablas Blog

In the spirit of a winemaker- Q & A with Assistant Winemaker Chelsea Franchi

November 21, 2015
by: Lauren Phelps
I recently sat down with Chelsea and asked her a few questions about her life, what brought her into the wine industry and how she became an essential member of the Tablas Creek family. Read More »