30th anniversary Archives - Please The Palate
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If you like to drink Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre or any other Rhone varieties made in California, you can thank Tablas Creek. Not only were they one of the original wineries in Paso Robles, but they are one of the pioneers of the California Rhone wine movement. And, they are celebrating 30 years! Jason Haas shared his family's story with me and then we tasted verticals of their top of the line Esprit de Tablas Blanc and Rouge which I wrote about in the Napa Valley Register and am sharing here. Located between San Francisco and Los Angeles, Paso Robles is a popular destination for wine travel. Today, there are more than 200 wineries in Paso Robles, which is primarily planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel, Syrah, and Chardonnay. It is hard to believe that only 30 years ago, Paso Robles was a relatively undiscovered region in the middle of nowhere. Thirty years ago, a partnership was formed between importer Robert Haas and the Perrin family of Château de Beaucastel in Châteauneuf du Pape and they established a winery, Tablas Creek, in Paso Robles. Not only was Tablas Creek one of the original wineries in Paso Robles, but they are one of the pioneers of the California Rhone wine movement.
I have been working in the wine industry for over 15 years and one of the first winemakers I met was Kathy Joseph of Fiddlehead Cellars in Sta Rita Hills. Kathy has been an energetic, passionate, driven personality in wine and has always inspired me. I had the privilege to celebrate her 30th anniversary with her and many others when she hosted Fiddlestix 2.0 earlier this summer. There she opened multiple vintages of her wines, including a bottle of her very first wine from 1989. I wrote about it in my column in the Napa Valley Register and share it with you here. The 2018 harvest marks the 30th anniversary of Fiddlehead Cellars, a winery in Santa Ynez Valley owned by winemaker and head fiddle, Kathy Joseph. Thirty years is a significant marker in the California wine industry, especially for Santa Barbara County, where post-Prohibition commercial plantings date only to 1960.
It is also noteworthy that 30 years ago, “There were very few women who owned wineries, very few women winemakers,” Joseph said. In addition, “There were very few people making high-end quality Pinot Noir or Sauvignon Blanc and very few people interested in the viticultural frontiers of Santa Barbara County and the north Willamette Valley.”
But when you meet Kathy Joseph, you understand.