Did you know: Tablas Creek Vineyard is certified both organic and biodynamic? I think it’s a testament to the integrity of both certifications that they don’t flaunt these facts. Indeed, many folks I speak to who are familiar with the name and wines don’t realize these amazing efforts. Fun Fact: In February of 2019, Tablas Creek began taking part part in a pilot program of yet another, new farming practice called Regenerative Organic.
Last week I participated in a webinar, discussion, and virtual tasting highlighting the Paso Robles AVA through the eyes of three prominent winery representatives: Jason Haas, partner and general manager of Tablas Creek Vineyard; Jordan Fiorentini, vice president of winemaking and vineyards for Epoch Wine Estates; and Amanda Wittstrom Higgins, newly appointed executive vice president of Ancient Peaks Winery.
The main takeaway (at least to my eyes and ears): Paso rocks. I mean, yes, it rocks in the figurative sense as well. But I was really digging (pun sort of intended) all the geeky geological stuff these guys got into. The show-and-tell of vineyard rocks was one for the record books. Have you seen fossilized whale bone in your backyard? Thought not. And of course, how these soil types and topography of each vineyard’s location affects the wine style is a connection I love making.
So, I thought I’d take some time to talk a bit about each winery, why they “rock,” and of course include mini wine reviews for each. Please, enjoy.
I was just in the mood for a Cab. That mood doesn’t strike me often, so when it does I want something deliciously reliable. Luckily I had just received a shipment of new releases from J. Lohr that included their Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon. Done deal.
P.S. I didn’t pair this wine with a burger (though that’s a fab idea). I actually paired it with a pizza (also a fab idea—especially if you like a bit of peppery heat on your pie.)
As you can tell by the look of the label, this wine has been a long-time member of my personal stash — a souvenir, if you will, from a somewhat impromptu pass through Paso Robles. When I ran into Maggie Tillman, the awesome chica who co-owns the winery with her father Bob, at a recent conference, she was so sweet to still remember me. I told her I still had the wine, that it was so special to me. She advised drinking it soon — her and Bob had recently opened one and it was just at the peak of its awesomeness. “Ah, well, I kind of want to save it for a special occasion,” I said. “Yeah, or a Tuesday,” replied Maggie. “When you’ve just had a day and need a goooood glass of wine.”
Yeah, life has been a roller-coaster lately. And Maggie was right. It wasn’t the day, the time, or the place that was of import. It was that I was able to chill-ax with my partner in wine (and life) crime and enjoy a solid Mourvedre, a delicious meal and, at least for a moment, forget about the twist and turns to come.