Tablas Creek Vineyards
Named after a small creek that runs through the property, Tablas Creek is a joint venture between the Perrin family, proprietors of Château de Beaucastel, and Robert Haas, founder of Vineyard Brands. Their focus is Rhône varietal grapes, particularly those of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, so the search for California property had two important objectives: to find a close match to the climate of the Rhône and the high pH soils of Château de Beaucastel. The 120 acre parcel they purchased in 1989 is about 12 miles from the Pacific in the Santa Lucia Mountain foothills. With an elevation average of 1,500 feet and shallow, rocky limestone soils of the Cretaceous and middle Miocene periods, they found California land with the same geological origin as Beaucastel. The climate mirrors the southern Rhône Valley, with warmer days and Pacific-cooled nights. Unsure of the quality of the varietals and the rootstocks available in California, the partners decided to import their vine material from Château de Beaucastel. By doing so, they insured that their California grapes would have a close relation to the classic varieties regenerated and planted by the legendary Jacques Perrin in the Beaucastel vineyard in France. Mourvèdre, Grenache Noir, Syrah, Counoise, Roussanne, Viognier, Marsanne, and Grenache Blanc were the varieties imported and planted.