Paso Robles

In addition to Tablas Creek Vineyard, there are well over 200 other wineries in the Paso Robles AVA (American Viticultural Area) as well as hundreds of independent vineyards.

These vineyard and wineries include specialists in Zinfandel, Bordeaux varietals such as Cabernet and Merlot, and (of course) Rhône varietals like us.

Where is Paso Robles?

Map of Paso RoblesPaso Robles is located in Calfornia's Central Coast, midway between Santa Barbara and Monterey, about 4 hours south of San Francisco. It is bisected by highway US-101 and the Salinas River, and has excellent (and quite different) growing regions on both east and west sides of town.

Why Paso Robles?

Paso Robles has a unique combination of attributes that make it ideal for growing grapes. These include:

  • The highest diurnal (day/night) temperature variance of any viticultural area in the United States: In the summer months, it is routinely in the mid 90s to low 100s during the day. However, our dry climate and our proximity to the ocean give us exceptionally cool nights, often down in the low 50s.
  • Incredibly diverse microclimates: Paso Robles has wide differences in elevation and proximity to the Pacific Ocean, which gives enormous climatic diversity. Its cooler areas (principally the Templeton Gap area) specialize in Pinot Noir, Syrah and Zinfandel. Its higher-elevation, mid-climate areas (principally the Adelaida Hills area in the north-west quadrant of town) is producing award winning Rhone Varietals, while its warmest areas (east and north of town) specialize in Bordeaux varietals. No other American AVA has as much diversity.
  • A reliable climate: Paso Robles is far enough south that it rarely rains before November, allowing growers and winemakers the opportunity for long hangtime and optimally ripened grapes. At the same time, the hot days are balanced by the cool nights, leading to harvests in late September, October and often November.
  • Tremendous soils: Paso Robles has wonderfully diverse soils, including the largest exposed limestone clay layer in California. Limestone is common in many of the great wine regions in Europe, including Burgundy, Alsace, the Loire, Chablis, and the southern Rhone, but rare in California. It is not found in Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, the Central Valley, eastern Santa Barbara County, or Southern California. It is, in fact, only found in a narrow irregular band stretching through the Central Coast.

What happens in Paso Robles?

Paso Robles has three large festivals each year, the Zinfandel Festival in March, the Wine Festival in May, and the Harvest Festival in October. These are organized and publicized by the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance (PRWCA).

Where can I learn more about Paso Robles?

We'd love to tell you more. You are encouraged to contact us, or learn more about visiting Tablas Creek. Our tasting room is open daily from 10:00AM to 5:00PM, and we hold special events every month. You can also read posts about Paso Robles on the Tablas Creek Blog.

Organizations to help plan your visit:

Groups offering wine tours of Paso Robles (both guided and self-guided):

Events

En Gobelet Vertical Tasting and Dry Farming Exploration

Since 2007, we have made our En Gobelet exclusively from dry-farmed, head-trained vineyard blocks. The results have been so compelling that we're planning to plant our entire new parcel -- all 55 acres -- in this style over the coming decade. Join us for this vertical tasting of every vintage of En Gobelet, from the 2007 to the newly-blended 2014. We'll also offer, before the tasting, an optional hike led by Viticulturist Levi Glenn through the rugged Scruffy Hill block from which we source most of the wine, and finish with a picnic lunch on our patio. $60 for wine club members and $75 for guests. Reservations are essential; we expect this to sell out. To reserve, email us at events@tablascreek.com or call us at 805.237.1231 ext 30.  Details & More Events »


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

Dry Farming in California's Drought, Part 3: How We Got Here (and Where We Go Next)

May 26, 2015
I was struck by a quote from Tegan Passalaqua, the winemaker at Turley, in a recent article on JancisRobinson.com. In an interview with Alder Yarrow, Tegan said "In a Mediterranean climate like we have, vertical shoot positioning and 3 by 6 vineyard spacing is basically farming hydroponically".

Hydroponic farming, with its overtones of bland supermarket tomatoes, seems an unlikely candidate to provide the intensity and ripeness that a winemaker would expect from California. But in its essence, that the farmer is providing everything that a plant needs to bear fruit, I don't think he's far off. It's worth taking a few moments to understand how grapevines came to be so widely irrigated in California. Read More »