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

Harvest Wine Weekend

October 14th - 16th, 2016
Celebrate Paso Robles Harvest Wine Weekend with Tablas Creek. Join us in the tasting room all weekend for a first look at our flagship Esprit de Tablas wines from the vibrant, powerful 2014 vintage. We will kick off the festival Friday night at McPhee's Grill in Templeton with a four-course, five-wine dinner. For reservations, call us at 805.237.1231 x230 or email events@tablascreek.com. On Saturday, join us in the cellar at Tablas Creek for a series of interactive harvest cellar tours throughout the day. Led by Executive Winemaker Neil Collins, guests will sample wines in various stages of the winemaking process and learn about the 2016 harvest and winemaking at Tablas Creek. Tours will be offered 10:30, 12:00, 2:00 and 3:30 (limited to 20 guests per tour; free to all guests). Details & more events »


Tablas Creek News

Chimney Fire Update

The Chimney Fire is 9 miles to our west, and all roads are open to us. Our tasting room is open and harvest proceeding as normal. Cal Fire update » Visiting »

August Featured Wine: 2015 Vermentino

Each month we feature a wine showing particularly well and offer it at a 10% discount. August's wine is the citrusy 2015 VermentinoDetails »

Tablas Creek wins 2016 California Green Medal for Sustainability

The CA Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance awarded Tablas Creek one of four 2016 Green Medals for leadership in sustainability. Our practices »


On the Tablas Blog

Harvest 2016 Begins!

August 18, 2016
By Jordan Lonborg
The wine grape harvest of 2016 has begun. Early this morning, our first Viognier pick kicked off our estate harvest at Tablas Creek. Our first fruit (also Viognier, from Adelaida Cellars) for the Patelin program came in yesterday. Next week, we expect to bring in more Patelin Viognier from one of Derby's vineyards, Pinot Noir from the Bob Haas's vineyard for our Full Circle Pinot, and some Syrah from Estrella Vineyard for Patelin red. At this stage, we're sampling fruit on a daily basis from several Patelin vineyards and multiple blocks at Tablas Creek to stay ahead of the ripening curve. A few photos from this morning:  Read More »