Tablas Creek Winery began in 1989 as a collaboration between Robert Haas, highly regarded in the industry as the founder of Vineyard Brands, and the Perrin family of Château Beaucastel near the village of Châteauneuf-du-Pape in the Rhône wine region of France. This partnership commenced after decades of friendship between Haas and the Perrins, and the objective was to find a piece of land in California with the right climate and soils to produce wines similar to the great Châteauneuf du Pape wines of France.
After a statewide search, that place ended up being Paso Robles, at that time barely a blip on the wine world’s radar, and specifically the west side of Paso Robles–the partners purchased a 120-acre parcel in the Las Tablas district, in what would eventually become the Adelaida District sub-appellation more than 20 years later.
Haas and the Perrins were not confident in the quality of existing Rhône varietal clones readily available in California, so they decided to go to the source. Thus began the long, complicated process of importing vines directly from the Perrin estate in Châteauneuf du Pape in 1990–there was a 3-year quarantine period overseen by the USDA and the University of California-Davis (to ensure the vines carried no viruses), and once the vines were cleared, propagation of the vines began, followed by planting at the estate in 1994. Most wineries in California who grow Rhône varietals are now using those same Tablas clones.
Committed to producing wines that showed the purest expression of the land on which they were grown, Haas and the Perrins took great care in the farming practices they put in place. Their vineyards were certified organic in 2003, and they’re currently underway to receive their biodynamic certification as well. Their commitment to sustainable practices on the estate earned them a 2016 California Green Medal.
Over the next two decades, Tablas Creek would establish itself both as a standard-bearer and ambassador for Paso Robles wines generally, and Rhône-based wines in particular. The wines are consistently top-rated, a reflection of the great care that goes into every aspect of the farming and winemaking on the estate.