By Chelsea Magnusson
A few months ago, my husband, Trevor, and I sat down to dinner in our backyard with a bottle of our new go-to wine: the Patelin de Tablas. I was so struck by the warmth and the casual feel exuding from the moment, I grabbed my camera and took a picture (and yes, I am that person... you know, the one who's always taking pictures of their food?) Looking back at the photo a few days later, I realized that I took the picture because to me, the moment perfectly captured what I see Patelin to be: easy, comfortable, casual, and genuinely, solidly GOOD.
For those of you who are not yet familiar with this wine, you can read notes on the 2010 Patelin de Tablas Blanc and the 2010 Patelin de Tablas. A little historical background from the cellar perspective:
In 2009, we had a pretty rough year in terms of harvest tonnage we brought in from our vineyard. In many ways, it's great to be an estate winery - we have complete year-round control of what happens in our vineyard, we know the subtle nuances of each individual block, we can experiment with different farming techniques, etc. Basically, it boils down to this: the fruit was grown on our property, in our soil, under our watch. However, being all estate comes with challenges. One of them being that we are at the complete mercy of mother nature. If we have one good frost, not enough heat, not enough rain, too much rain at the wrong time, or any number of other issues, our production can be decreased.
For the 2010 vintage, it was decided that Tablas Creek would start a new project. Fruit would be purchased from neighboring vineyards, hence the name of the new wine: "Patelin de Tablas" (the word "patelin" means "neighborhood" in French). All of our other wines remain estate grown, and we do contribute some of our estate fruit into both the Patelin de Tablas Rouge and Patelin de Tablas Blanc.
For those of us in the cellar, the Patelin project has proved to be challenging in a wonderful way. And it is fun. Really fun. The personalities that have come into the cellar (and I mean both the growers and the fruit) are fascinating. The people we have met are all so outstanding, and the fruit they bring us carries with it a character that we physically cannot produce on our estate.
So I think it goes without saying that I am unbelievably excited about this new wine. When I was looking back on the photo I took in our backyard, I thought it would be fun to see what kind of moments others at Tablas Creek would capture if given the prompt "how do you like your Patelin?" I wanted to see the way others enjoy this wine and I was so pleased with what I received, I thought I should share:
The Haas family - Bob, his wife Barbara, Jason and his sister Rebecca - celebrating at Bob and Barbara's home in Vermont. Rebecca sent me the photo and I am told they are Glidden Point and Belon oysters from Barbara Scully (who was recently featured in a blog post by Bob).
General Manager Jason Haas had this wonderfully charming photo snapped at Shakespeare in the Park in San Luis Obispo. Patelin apparently pairs beautifully with theatre on the lawn at dusk!
National Sales Manager Tommy Oldre sent this photo with the question, "how else would I enjoy Patelin?" Here, he is pictured doing what he does best: making new friends and pouring Tablas Creek wine at Venokado in Santa Monica.
Tasting Room Manager John Morris took this photo from the beautiful new patio at Tablas Creek. As usual, his plate is full of gorgeous bounty from his home garden.
Accountant (and self-proclaimed Spreadsheet Queen) Eileen Harms and her husband, Paul enjoying what looks like a bottle of Patelin Rouge and a bottle of Patelin Blanc in their backyard under a full moon... a wonderful lesson: if you can't choose, indulge in both!
Wine Club and Hospitality Assistant Manager Monica O'Connor just couldn't resist and was forced to submit two photos: the first is a photo of her son and daughter-in-law who live in New York (what better way to enjoy Patelin than with loved ones?) and the second, a photo of Humphrey Bogart with a quote that was originally intended for Lauren Bacall, now directed toward Patelin: "You'll fall in love with her like everyone else."
Wine Club and Hospitality Assistant Dani Archambeault submitted this unbelievable photo of a shared bottle of Patelin looking out over Paso Robles wine country. Such a stunning photo... perhaps the Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce should think about using this shot for travel and tourism advertisements?
Assistant Tasting Room Manager Jennifer Bravo submitted a few photos, but this was my favorite: a bottle of Patelin, the newspaper, and a tin of smoked oysters. Perfect.
Viticulturist Levi Glenn sent in a Patelin still life that made me wish it was dinner time.
Rat de Cave (a self-professed term meaning "cellar rat") Shawn Dugan enjoyed Patelin out of a mason jar at the Templeton Concert in the Park summer series.
Winemaker Ryan Hebert and his wife, Laura, definitely went above and beyond with their "assignment". I received a memory card with a whopping 86 photos. Seriously. Now, I thought I was excited about this wine! This was my favorite, but I also had to share one more that Laura submitted, because I thought it was funny (and wonderful) how two people in the same household enjoyed Patelin differently:
And finally, this is my photo that spurred the whole photo essay; dinner with some of my favorite boys at home in our backyard:
After looking through all of the photos, it looks as though everyone enjoys their Patelin in more or less the same fashion - with wonderful company and great food in fun settings. We hope you do the same, and would love to see your photos. Please send any that you take to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll publish the best in a later blog post!