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After Years of Natural Viticulture, Tablas Creek Vineyard Certified Organic

01/21/03

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.

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.

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

Events

Cruise the Rhone with Tablas Creek

July 2nd - 9th, 2017
We’re excited to be returning to the Mediterranean in the summer of 2017 to host a Rhone River cruise aboard the wonderful Uniworld ship S.S. Catherine. Partner Jason Haas, with his wife Meghan, and Executive Winemaker Neil Collins, with his wife Marci, will host this 8-day cruise from Avignon to Lyon. For all the details, and to book, visit our travel partners' Web site at foodandwinetrails.com/tablascreek2017 or call Food & Wine Trails at (800) 367-5348. We hope that you will join us!


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On the Tablas Blog

Tablas Creek Lambs and Tablas Creek Lamb

February 20, 2017
As many of you know, we have been building up our flock this year. The animals help build up our soil, spreading manure thoroughly and evenly, reducing or eliminating our need to bring in outside fertilizer. They help keep weeds down and reduce the number of tractor passes we need come spring. And they attract different microbes and insects into soil that is vibrantly alive in a way that just doesn't happen in a monoculture. The past few years, we've had around 80 sheep, along with a few alpacas, two donkeys, and a llama. Now, thanks to a fertile winter season, we're up to 165 sheep, plus the other members of the menagerie. The flock can at times be seen from the tasting room, but is more often working quietly, out of view: Read More »