Vineyard and Winemaking

Minimizing human intervention to maximize the expression of our terroir.

Vineyard

Tablas Creek’s limestone-rich 120-acre organic estate vineyard is located in the hills north and west of Paso Robles. The warm days and cool nights allow our vines to gracefully ripen the Rhône varietals we grow. Our viticulture practices emphasize dry farming and long-term vine health through cover cropping, mulching, and moderate crop levels. We farm organically, and received our organic certification in January 2003. More recently, we have incorporated many Biodynamic techniques across the vineyard, and converted 20 acres to complete Biodynamism, including our own mobile herd of sheep, alpacas and two guard donkeys, Fiona and Dottie (right). Our goal in our farming, as in our winemaking, is to minimize what we have to put on from the outside, and allow the maximum expression of character of place from this vineyard that we searched four years to find. [more about our Vineyard and Viticulture]

Nursery

Our on-site vinifera nurseries, rootstock fields and grafting and growing facilities were created to provide us with the Rhone varietals we have planted in our vineyards, but we have since 1996 made these high quality clones available for purchase by interested vineyards. Customers who wish to purchase Rhone varietal budwood and grafted vines using Tablas Creek vinifera material can do so exclusively through NovaVine Nursery of Sonoma, California, who produce grafted vines of consistent high quality using environmentally responsible farming practices. [more about the Tablas Creek Nursery]

Grapes

There are dozens of varietals grown in the Rhône Valley in France. 13 of these are approved in Châteauneuf du Pape, with another 8 approved in the Côtes du Rhône appellation. We chose to import the 9 chief varietals of the Southern Rhône for our Paso Robles estate vineyard: Mourvèdre, Syrah, Grenache, and Counoise for the reds, and Roussanne, Marsanne, Grenache Blanc, Viognier, and Picpoul for the whites. [more about our Grapes]

Winemaking

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 Châteauneuf du Pape, we blend our Rhône varietals to produce wines that are more complex, better balanced, and richer than single varietal wines. [more about our Winemaking]

Events

Earth Day Celebration

You're invited to join us for an Earth Day celebration Sunday, April 24 at Tablas Creek Vineyard. Visit the winery all weekend from 10am to 5pm and learn about our organic and Biodynamic viticulture and limestone soils. Taste the wines from the current VINsider Wine Club shipment, and see our biodynamic sheep, alpacas, donkeys and llama! Tours run daily at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Also, enjoy the high-energy sounds of Bear Market Riot from noon to 3:00 PM on our terraced patio.


Tablas Creek News

Jason Haas: 2015 Paso Robles Wine Industry Person of the Year

We were proud to learn that Tablas Creek Partner/GM Jason Haas was voted by his peers the 2015 Paso Robles Wine Industry Person of the Year.  His father, our founder Robert Haas, wrote this appreciation on our blog.

Wine Advocate: 15 Wines 90+ Points

In Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue 220) 15 Tablas wines topped 90 points, including 2014 Esprit de Tablas (93-96), 2013 Panoplie (94-96), and 2014 Panoplie (95-97). Read the review » More press »

Anticipating El Niño (L.A. Times)

Tablas Creek's preparations for El Niño were featured in an L.A. Times front-page article Friday, November 27th. Read the article » More recent press »


On the Tablas Blog

Spring Cleaning in the Vineyard: How Eliminating Surface Grasses Conserves Water

April 27, 2016
Think of each plant that's growing in a given plot of land as like a wick, with its roots delving into the soil for available moisture. If we had overabundant water, we might want to leave some surface weeds to keep levels more reasonable. Instead, in our California climate, eliminating competition from grasses and other surface plants is an essential part of our ability to dry farm. Tilling in the cover crop also allows the insects and microorganisms in the soil to start breaking down the surface biomass accumulated during the winter growth into nutrients that the vines will draw from in the coming months. Finally, the loosening of the soil creates an insulating layer at the surface that helps conserve the water deeper down.  Read More »