The Tablas Creek blog provides thoughts, reports, photographs and the occasional video from Tablas Creek Vineyard, in Paso Robles, California. It is maintained by Jason Haas, Partner and General Manager at Tablas Creek, and includes the following contributors:
Jason Haas is Partner and General Manager at Tablas Creek Vineyard, and the principal author of pieces on the Tablas Creek blog. The son of Tablas Creek Vineyard founder and renowned importer Robert Haas, he learned the wine business at an early age, accompanying his family on yearly European wine-buying trips and spending two summers working at Château de Beaucastel.
After obtaining a Master's Degree in Archaeology from Cornell and spending a four-year stint managing a tech company in Washington, DC, Jason moved to California to join Tablas Creek in April of 2002. He is a member of the winemaking committee, manages the wholesale distribution of Tablas Creek, and directs the vineyard’s local and national marketing efforts.
In addition to his work at Tablas Creek, he serves on the board of directors of the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance and the Rhone Rangers, and is a past board member of the Family Winemakers of California. He speaks at events around the country on topics including Tablas Creek, Rhone varietals, organic farming, and the Paso Robles region.
Robert Haas has played a leading role in the American wine industry for over half a century. After graduating from Yale in 1950, he joined his father's firm, M. Lehmann, Inc., a retailer of fine wines and spirits in Manhattan. As a buyer for the company, Haas traveled through the cellars of France, establishing a formidable reputation as a wine taster while forging lifelong relationships with premier wine producers.
In 1973, he started Vineyard Brands to import fine estate wines from Burgundy, Bordeaux, the Loire, Alsace and the Rhône Valley, where he met the Perrins of Chateau de Beaucastel and became the exclusive American importer for Beaucastel. As the company grew, it introduced the American market to brands such as La Vieille Ferme, Marqués de Cáceres, Warre's Port, and many California “boutique” wineries and estate-bottled French domains. The company served as a representative for newly emerging California wineries including Chappellet, Freemark Abbey, Clos du Val, Joseph Phelps, Hanzell, Kistler, and Sonoma-Cutrer. In 1984, he founded and moderated the quadrennial bi-lingual symposium "Focus on Chardonnay" to promote dialogue between producers in Burgundy and California.
As Managing Partner of Tablas Creek since its foundation in 1989, Haas has consistently advocated organic viticulture, minimum-intervention winemaking and wines of terroir and sophistication. He has spoken on wine and winemaking topics at seminars and festivals around the country, including the New York Wine Experience, the Boston Wine Expo, Society of Wine Educators annual meeting, Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta, Hospice du Rhone, Central Coast Wine Classic, U.C. Davis and many others.
Haas is one of four American members of the Académie Internationale du Vin, an elite organization dedicated to improving world wide wine quality and recognition of authenticity of origin. He also serves on the board of the Paso Robles American Viticultural Area committee, which proposed 12 new AVAs within Paso Robles. In 2009, in recognition of his contributions to the development of the Paso Robles region, he was named “Paso Robles Wine Industry Person of the Year.”
Chelsea Franchi grew up in the Sierra Foothills of Northern California with a family that encouraged (and applauded) her enthusiasm and fascination for wine. She attended Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo to study Agricultural Business and Wine and Viticulture. While working on her degree, she got a job at Tablas Creek as a Greeter/Hostess and from there, moved into the tasting room. Upon graduation in 2008, she started her production career working hard as a “cellar rat” under the guidance of Winemakers Neil Collins and Ryan Hebert. To further her knowledge and appreciation of wine, she took the first level sommelier exam in the middle of her first harvest. Her hard work and eagerness to learn paid off when she was offered the title of Assistant Winemaker in 2009.
Chelsea writes the Notes from the Cellar series on the Tablas Creek blog and thinks she has the best job in the world.
After growing up in the culinary wasteland of 1970’s Flint, Michigan, John landed in Seattle and spent 20 years discovering and developing a love for food and wine (ok, it was beer first) all the while playing music and working in the burgeoning specialty coffee business.
John relocated to the Central Coast in search of sun in 2005, and has been the tasting room manager at Tablas Creek since the summer of 2007. When not at the winery, John can be found working on his ½ acre hobby farm and orchard in east Paso Robles.
John writes the View from the Tasting Room series on the Tablas Creek blog.
Levi was born and raised in Healdsburg, California. Having grown up surrounded by the Old Vine Zinfandel vineyards in the bucolic Dry Creek Valley, Levi always knew he would end up working in the wine industry. At age thirteen, Levi started to work in a next door neighbor’s vineyard. He has never held a job that didn’t involve a grapevine or emptying a fermenter.
Graduating from Cal Poly in 2004 with a degree in Viticulture and Enology, Levi went on to manage vineyards first in Napa Valley and later in his native Sonoma County. Levi joined the Tablas Creek team in July 2011 to fill the new position of Viticulturist. He and his wife Katie were eager to return to the central coast. They recently moved to Paso Robles, and are delighted to rediscover the area. They also enjoy gardening, bluegrass, and their aging beagle Abner.
Levi writes the Viticultural Revolution series on the Tablas Creek blog, focusing on our continuing exploration of organics and biodyanamics in the vineyard.
Darren Delmore was raised by restaurateurs in San Luis Obispo, California. After stints in competitive surfing and publishing as an editor at Surfing Magazine, he embarked on an oenological odyssey that steered him through ten wine harvests in California, Oregon and Australia. He worked with Rhone varietals at Bonny Doon Vineyard, punched down Pinot Noir at the Hirsch Vineyard, and blackened his palms at Two Hands in the Barossa Valley of Australia. Most recently, he represented Goldeneye Winery in Anderson Valley as a Wine Educator.
Darren's love of Tablas Creek began with the 2002 vintage of Esprit de Beaucastel, and his humble personal collection boasts a consecutive vertical of the flagship blend going back to 2003.
Darren’s written work on wine has been published by Wine Spectator, Vine Times, Anderson Valley Advertiser, and Wine Country this Week. He currently lives in San Luis Obispo with his partner Jillian and their son Shea.
Darren writes the On the Road series on the Tablas Creek Blog, recounting his travels around the state and around the country is search of food and wine greatness.