Tablas Creek Vineyard 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.
This story originally appeared in the Napa Valley Register (January 15, 2016) Grenache is widely planted around the world. It is the second most widely planted grape in France, making up 60 percent of the acreage in the Rhone Valley and 70 percent of the acreage in Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Planted in approximately 500,000 acres worldwide, grenache can be found in Spain, Italy and Australia, as well as in California. But in California, acreage has declined over the last 20 years from approximately 12,000 acres to approximately 6,500 acres today. Despite this reduction in acreage, grenache production and consumption is on the rise, according to a recent seminar with the Rhone Rangers. Grenache on the Rise American wine critic and author of the forthcoming American Rhone Wine Movement, Patrick Comiskey moderated a panel of winemakers from throughout California as a tasting and discussion was underway about the rise of grenache in California. “Despite being grown here more or less continuously for over 150 years, grenache’s range of flavors, its regional expression and its level of profundity are still a long way from being realized,” Comiskey said. “It may have more potential than any other Rhone variety currently grown in the U.S., so it’s time to have a look at the state of the grape.”