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.
It's not often that I get to taste a wine from my birth year. But, at a retrospective tasting of Cantina Terlano wines from Alto Adige, I got to go back almost 50 years and taste beautiful wines from 1971, 1983, 1986, 1991, 1996, 2002 and 2015. If you didn't think white wines like Pinot Blanco could age, you are mistaken. The ability of these wines to age is extraordinary. Relive my retrospective journey that I wrote about in the Napa Valley Register and share here.
It is not every day that you get to sit down and taste a retrospective vertical of wines going back almost 50 years, which also includes a wine from your birth year. But I had the privilege and pleasure to do that at TexSom with Cantina Terlano from Alto Adige.
And to top it off, this retrospective vertical tasting was of Pinot Blanco, a white wine. Yes, white wines with age.
There are only three family-owned wineries remaining in the Napa Valley that have been owned continuously by the same family since World War II. One of these wineries is Charles Krug Winery, celebrating their 75th anniversary this year. (The other two wineries are Sutter Home and Nichelini Family Winery.)
The Mondavi family bought the Charles Krug Winery in 1943, but the winery pre-dates them. Charles Krug, born in Prussia, was educated as a journalist who first came to the United States to give a talk at the Philadelphia University of Free Thinkers. He later returned to the U.S., moving to San Francisco where he published a radical newspaper, as well as worked at the U.S. Mint.
Wine became a hobby after Krug was introduced to it by friends who were making wine. In December 1860, Krug married Carolina Bale who came from a prominent family. As part of her dowry, he was given 600 acres in what is today St. Helena. Due to his love of wine, Charles Krug established a winery in the heart of the 600 acres in 1860, making it the oldest winery in the Napa Valley.