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(Paso Robles) - The region of Paso Robles, California is gaining increasing recognition around the country as a premium area for fine wine and food. On November 12, the James Beard Foundation in New York featured a dinner celebrating the leading lights of the Paso Robles food and wine scene. Laurent Grangien, chef and owner of Bistro Laurent, prepared a 5-course meal and paired each course with wines from Justin, L’Aventure, and Tablas Creek Vineyard.
The James Beard Foundation celebrates the country’s culinary artists while providing resources, scholarships and educational opportunities for the food industry. It also offers members the opportunity to enjoy the delights of fine dining. To be selected as a visiting chef or winemaker is a signal honor in the industry.
The three wineries chosen reflect the unique terroir and favorable climate of Paso Robles. All three are located in limestone clay foothills of the Santa Lucia Mountains west of Paso Robles, and though each focuses on different varietals, their winemaking styles are remarkably similar. All are proponents of the philosophy that fine wines are made first in the vineyard, and that great wines can only come from great grapes brought through the fermentation process as naturally as possible.
Tablas Creek Vineyard, founded by wine industry pioneer Robert Haas and the Perrin brothers of Château de Beaucastel, focuses on red and white Rhone blends, organic farming, and natural winemaking. Their signature wine, Esprit de Beaucastel, is a blend of Mourvèdre, Grenache, Syrah, and Counoise. Justin Winery, founded by Justin and Deborah Baldwin, is a family owned and operated estate focusing on Bordeaux blends. Their flagship wine Isosceles, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot, has received wide praise among critics and consumers. L’Aventure, founded by Bordeaux winemaker Stephan Asseo, spans Bordeaux and the Rhône with its signature Optimus, a blend based on Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah.
A native of Brittany, France, Grangien worked at a series of Michelin-starred restaurants, including St. James in Bordeaux, Château de la Chèvre d’Or in Eze, and Michel Guérard in Eugénie-les-Bains. In Paris he became head chef at Michel Rostang’s eponymous restaurant. With Rostang, he opened Bistrot d’à Côté, also in Paris. Stateside, he served as executive chef of Fennel Bistro in Los Angeles, which was chosen as one of the best new restaurants of 1992 by Esquire. Moving to California’s Central Coast, Grangien took a position at the Inn at Morro Bay before opening Bistro Laurent.
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Jason Haas, 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 »