Tablas Creek Vineyard is a joint project between the Perrin family of chateau de Beaucastel and their long time US importers the Haas family of vineyard brands. Having established himself a leading role in the American wine industry, Robert Haas travelled through the cellars of France, establishing a formidable reputation as a wine taster while forging lifelong relationships with premier wine producers. In the mid-1960s he set out on his own to import fine estate wines from Burgundy, Bordeaux, the Loire, Alsace and the Rhône Valley, where he met the owners of chateau de Beaucastel and convinced family patriarch Jacques Perrin to appoint him the exclusive American importer of their wines. Over the course of two decades travelling the United States together to promote their French wines, Haas and the Perrins became friends, and emerged convinced that the Rhône varieties so well suited to the sunny south of France would thrive in California's Mediterranean climate.
In 1985, the families began looking for property. Ten years of saving and a further four years of serious investigation brought them to a purchase of a 120 acre site in the limestone-rich hills west of Paso Robles (in what is now the Adeilada AVA). The partners were determined to plant Mediterranean varieties, but as none were available in California at the time a huge project was undertaken to import vine cuttings from Beaucastel; this was no small feat when only six cutting per variety were allowed entry into the USA before each batch then required 3 years of quarantine. Out of this endeavour, a nursery business was born that, by happy coincidence, provided vines for many of the other Californian Rhône Rangers. All 13 permitted chateauneuf-du-Pape varieties are now planted on the property, managed by a team ‘dedicated to blending' with a winemaking and vineyard management philosophy drawn, naturally, from Beaucastel with some regional quirks.
Since its inception, the vineyards have been farmed organically and were certified as far back as 2003. Historically, the estate's top wine carried a strong reference to its vinous heritage, named 'Esprit de Beaucastel'. Since 2011, however, the partners have been confident that Tablas Creek should stand on its own reputation and the wine is now known as Esprit de Tablas. We heartily agree with this decision, sharing the belief that Tablas Creek Vineyards has an amazingly bright future.
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