Tablas Creek Vineyard
Today is Day 7 of our 12 Days of Wine Celebration! This year, we are focusing on Discovering Wines for the Future. These are wineries and vineyards that are doing the work, in their own way, to be sure we have a long, healthy future on our planet in which to enjoy wine!
These vineyards are farming the soil, creating healthy environments with biodynamic and regenerative methods. This generates biodiversity, sequesters carbon, and, in turn, makes delicious wine.
Many of these vineyards and wineries will be on the West Coast of the US, but we’ve included a few from Italy and one from Argentina. There are many more out there, and we encourage you to seek them out! But we will get you started with a few of our favorites!
Grab a glass and celebrate with us!
(Scroll to the bottom for our video!)
Tablas Creek Vineyard
& Jason Haas
The Haas family of Vineyard Brands and the Perrin Family of Château du Beaucastel in Châteauneuf du Pape in France’s Rhone Valley got together to find property in California for a winery. Robert Haas had met Jacques Perrin in the mid-1960s and became their US importer. Together, they founded Tablas Creek in 1987
Today, Tablas Creek is owned equally by the Haas and Perrin families and is run by the next generation. The face of the winery is Jason Haas, their General Manager, who is passionate about wine and the environment. He is always on the leading edge of finding ways to produce delicious wine while making a difference.
He is knowledgeable and is happy to share that knowledge. Any conversation with Jason is thought-provoking and open for dialogue. He is charismatic and down to earth.
Beyond that, they have a terrific team of people who are deeply invested in this place.
Adelaida District AVA of Paso Robles, California
So, I mentioned that they went looking for property for a winery. After looking for 4 years, they came across this area in Paso Robles. Here, they found a property that felt a bit like Château du Beaucastel, with rocky limestone soil and a Mediterranean climate.
At that time, Paso Robles was one big AVA. Today, they sit in the Adelaida Hills AVA on the west side of Paso Robles. The 135-acre property sits at 1500 feet and has rolling hills and a creek called Las Tablas.
Why are the wines of Tablas Creek Vineyard wines for the future?
The Perrin’s began farming Château du Beaucastel organically in 1950 and added biodynamics in 1974. So, the Tablas Creek Vineyards were always to be farmed in this way. Beyond that, with the drought in California and climate change, taking the further step to be Regenerative Organic Certified was a no-brainer for them. They became the first Regenerative Organic Certified Vineyard in 2020.
From a winemaking perspective, it just makes sense. If you want to produce a wine with a sense of place, you can’t add a bunch of stuff to the soil or the wine, that comes from somewhere else!
But beyond the wine, they had a chance to make a difference for the planet.
Here are Jason’s own words from an interview I did with him in 2022.
“This was something where wine was just one of many product types that are under this umbrella, and that meant that it really had the chance to move the needle societally we felt in a way that we hadn’t seen before. And if we were given the opportunity to help craft these standards within the world of wine and then promote them within the world of wine and show that it works and it’s possible in the world of wine, that has the potential to make a real difference.”
How are they making the future better?
Tablas Creek became certified organic in 2003, biodynamic certified in 2017, and then became Regenerative Organic Certified in 2020. They do this by farming the soil.
They use cover crops and compost. They keep and create biodiversity on the property. They have sheep, alpacas, and donkeys grazing on the property. All the animals are treated humanely and with respect.
The staff and workers are paid a living wage and are encouraged to collaborate. This creates a sense of community, and the staff is invested in the success of the farm.
They have solar panels to create energy for the winery and tasting room.
They also work on ways to lower their carbon footprint through energy use at the property, using light glass bottles, and packaging some wines in boxes. They also use kegs for their tasting room. They constantly look for new ways to step more lightly on our planet.
What Wine should you try from Tablas Creek Vineyard?
Where to begin? You will likely be able to find some of their Patelin de Tablas near you. They produce this in larger quantities, and it is widely distributed. But for some fun, I encourage you to try some of their single-variety wines.
Rhône style wines are typically blends, which are delicious (and yes, you should try their Esprit lines), but it is rare that you can taste a single variety of Rhone grape in a wine. At Tablas Creek, they have imported all the grapes grown in the Châteauneuf du Pape region. Have you ever tasted a Bourboulenc or a Terret Noir? Here’s your chance.
Links for more information on Tablas Creek Vineyard
We’ve visited and written about Tablas Creek vineyard before. Some of our videos go WAY back.
Here are a few you might enjoy
Here’s a video with Jason from way back in 2015!
Tablas Creek Vineyard is one of the vineyards we will be featuring in our Documentary “Can Wine Save the Planet?” We look forward to spending time with them over the next year to see their practices in action and share with you their story.
They are constantly trying new things, and we look forward to following their Hugelkultur project as it evolves. This is a wagon wheel-shaped vineyard block. This is a permaculture project, that has already proved itself helpful in the way it managed water during the spring floods!
You can follow the project at CanWineSavethePlanet.com, where we will have plenty of extras with in-depth interviews and educational videos on these farming methods. You can only fit so much in a documentary, and there is so much to tell! We don’t want you to miss anything! Head over there and follow us for great content as we are filming!
Robin Renken is a wine writer and Certified Specialist of Wine and WSET 3 Certified. She and her husband Michael travel to wine regions interviewing vineyard owners and winemakers and learning the stories behind the glass.
When not traveling they indulge in cooking and pairing wines with food at home in Las Vegas.
Check out our book series, “Tempting Spoonfuls” available through Amazon!
Inspired by the flavors and aromas in wines, these books create “tempting spoonfuls” of flavors to pair with wines.
“Tempting Spoonfuls – Pairing single bites with glorious wines” – Our first book paired wines from boutique wineries on the west coast, in California, Oregon, and Washington, with delicious spoonfuls.
This book is 60 pages, 18 recipes, lots of beautiful photos, and insights into some fantastic small wineries!
“Tempting Spoonfuls – small bites paired with wines from around the Globe” – This book takes us around the globe to explore 12 wine regions, a wine from the region, and then gives you a recipe for a pairing!
A slightly larger book at 104 pages, this time you learn about pairing with a type of wine from a region. Rather than a specific bottle, you can look for a style of wine from a region and feel confident that it will go well with the recipe pairing we provide. We give you 12 recipes, each to pair with a wine.
The goal is to make your mouth water and encourage you to create your own “Tempting Spoonfuls.”