Tasting the Terroir at Tablas Creek (The Daily Meal)
Tablas Creek is a 25-minute drive from Paso, up a twisting tree-lined two-lane road heading into the Santa Lucia Mountains. Although you pass vineyards and wineries all the way up, it is sobering to remember that when Tablas Creek purchased its land in 1989, it was almost the first in the area. People scratched their heads that such “smart money” — the winery is owned by the Perrin family of the top-rated Château de Beaucastel in Châteauneuf-du-Pape and the noted American wine importer Robert Haas of Vineyard Brands and his son, Jason — had not gone to Northern California. Their rationale was terroir. The Paso Robles region was rich with the same calcareous (chalk) soil that the Perrins prized in the southern Rhône. Also comparable was the annual rainfall.