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

Paso Robles Harvest Wine Weekend

Join us in the tasting room all weekend for a first look at our flagship wines: 2013 Esprit de Tablas and 2013 Esprit de Tablas Blanc.
Friday night: Enjoy a four-course, four-wine dinner at  McPhee's Grill in Templeton. Seats at the dinner are $105/per person (inclusive of tax and gratuity) and reservations on this busy weekend are essential. Details »
Saturday: join us in the cellar at Tablas Creek for a series of interactive demonstrations. Demonstrations will be ongoing from 10am - 3pm and are free to all guests. Details »


Tablas Creek News

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 »

Antonio Galloni 8/14: 30 Wines 90+

In August, Antonio Galloni published the results of his annual visit to Tablas Creek, and we were excited to receive such good reviews from this notoriously tough grader. Notes included the 2012 Esprit de Tablas Blanc (92 points; “impeccably refined”), 2011 Panoplie (94 points; "pure elegance"), 2012 Patelin de Tablas (90 points; “a gorgeous wine and a fabulous value”), and the 2012 Esprit de Tablas (93-95 points; "a fascinating Esprit to follow over the coming years"). Read the complete review » More recent press »


On the Tablas Blog

Veraison 2015 Suggests an Early September Start to Harvest

July 23, 2015
Although we've been distracted by the more unusual occurrence of last weekend's summer rainstorm, this week also has provided the annual milestone of veraison. Veraison marks the point where the grapes stop accumulating mass and start accumulating sugar (and, more noticeably, change color from green to red). It is one of the landmarks of the season, not least because it marks a point roughly six-weeks before the onset of harvest.  Read More »