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.
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
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.
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.
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 »
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 »