Tablas Creek Team
Meet the people of Tablas Creek Vineyard
Partner and Founder
Robert Haas 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 and its import arm, Leeds Import 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 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 Perrins of Château de Beaucastel and became the Perrins' exclusive American importer. He founded importer Vineyard Brands through which he introduced the American market to brands such as La Vieille Ferme, Marqués de Cáceres, Warre’s Port, Girardin, Alsace's Domaine Weinbach, and Burgundy's Domaines Gouges, Sauzet, Ponsot, Mongeard-Mugneret, Dauvissat, Matrot, Carillon, and Michel among others. The company also served as a representative for newly emerging California wineries in the early seventies, including Chappellet, Freemark Abbey, Clos du Val, Joseph Phelps, Rutherford Hill, Hanzell, Kistler, and later Sonoma-Cutrer. He founded the symposium "Focus on Chardonnay" in 1984 to promote dialogue between producers in Burgundy and California and he also created the first ever French-American Rhône Symposium, which was held at the Meadowood Club in the Napa Valley in 1990.
Haas was one of four American members of the Académie Internationale du Vin. In recognition of his contributions to the international wine community as an importer, a vintner, and an advocate for quality, he was elected as the AIV president in 2000. He was recognized by the Paso Robles Wine Community as 2007 Wine Industry Person of the Year, and in 2014 he received a lifetime achievement award from Rhone Rangers for his contributions to the American Rhone movement. Haas passed away on March 18, 2018, one month from his 91st birthday. We are proud to carry on his legacy.
Read the tribute to his father, written by Jason Haas, on the Tablas Creek blog.
Partner and General Manager
Jason Haas, the son of Tablas Creek Vineyard founder and renowned importer Robert Haas, 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. At Tablas Creek, he oversees the business, winemaking, and sales and marketing operations.
In addition to his work at Tablas Creek, Jason is Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance, a past president of the Rhone Rangers, and a former board member of the Family Winemakers of California. His writing has been published in Wine Business Monthly, Wines & Vines, Decanter, Wine Industry Network and Zester Daily, and he is the principal author of the Tablas Creek blog, which has been a finalist at the Wine Blog Awards for Best Winery Blog eight times since 2008, winning in 2008 and 2011.
As General Manager of Tablas Creek since 2006, Jason has consistently spoken in favor of organic viticulture, wines of place, the potential of Paso Robles, and the quality of Rhone grape varieties. He has spoken on wine and winemaking topics to audiences around the country, including the Unified Grape & Wine Symposium, Central Coast Insights, the American Wine Society, California Wine Summit, Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta, Hospice du Rhône, Central Coast Wine Classic and many others.
In recognition of his contributions to the Paso Robles wine community, he was voted by his peers 2015 Paso Robles Wine Country Wine Industry Person of the Year and 2017 San Luis Obispo County Wine Industry Person of the Year. He manages the day to day operations at Tablas Creek.
Executive Winemaker and Vineyard Manager
Neil was born and raised in Bristol, England. Trained as a chef, he moved into winemaking with stints with John Munch at Adelaida Cellars and Ken Volk at Wild Horse. At Adelaida, Neil met Robert Haas and the Perrins of Château de Beaucastel when they were just beginning the search for Tablas Creek. Neil was so intrigued by the project that he offered his services, and spent a year working and learning at Château de Beaucastel.
Before the year was finished, Neil was offered the winemaker position at Tablas Creek, and he has overseen both the organic vineyard and the winery since 1998.
His philosophy is that great wines can only come from great grapes, and that the art of winemaking is founded on starting out with the very best grapes and bringing their juice through fermentation as naturally as possible.
Neil was named San Luis Obispo County Winemaker of the Year in 2013.
Get to know Neil on the Tablas Creek blog.
Senior Assistant Winemaker
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 Winemaker Neil Collins. 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.
Get to know Chelsea on the Tablas Creek blog.
Born and raised in a small beach town by the name of Scituate, MA. 30 miles south of Boston, Jordan graduated from Cal Poly with a degree in Fruit Science.
He assisted in the management of the deciduous orchard on campus for over two years until Jordan took his first job in the wine industry with Monterey Pacific Inc., a large vineyard management company in Monterey county. Working as a PCA, and then as a Viticulturist, on the famous San Bernabe Ranch and in Haymes Valley, the time he spent here was an amazing educational experience for Jordan. Ever since he began working in agriculture, Jordan dreamed of an opportunity to work on a property such as Tablas Creek. In Febuary of 2016, that dream came true.
Jordan lives in the Adelaida with his wife Molly and their dog Miles Davis. He is an avid fly fisherman and can be found on the rivers of Northern California during his time off chasing steelhead in the winters and rainbow trout in the summers.
Get to know Jordan on the Tablas Creek blog.
David has grown up in the vineyard; from an early age he worked with his father in a number of local vineyards and orchards in the Paso Robles area. He began work at Tablas Creek in 1992 and was intimately involved in the original grafting and planting projects.
David is responsible for communicating the needs of the vineyard with winemaker, Neil Collins and viticulturist, Jordan Longborg. David is especially excited about harvesting fruit from the new varietals that were recently planted. David loves to be “out there in the vineyard”, he likes “seeing the plants growing”.
David is married and has six children ranging in age from twenty to seven years old.
Get to know David on the Tablas Creek blog.
Craig grew up locally, in Templeton where his dad owned a small vineyard growing black and white muscat grapes. He remembers fondly the hot days he and his three brothers helped his dad with the harvest.
Craig learned the wine industry hands-on, working in the cellars of Meridian, Justin and has been working at Tablas Creek since 2013. Craig enjoys the small team and quality-focused aspects of working at Tablas Creek. He can often be found driving a fork lift balanced with wine barrels carefully around the cellar.
Craig and his partner Annika have a son named Jackson, AKA "Action Jackson". Craig also enjoys surfing, playing basketball or learning a new sport.
Get to know Craig on the Tablas Creek blog.
Amanda grew up in Simi Valley and graduated with a Kinesiology degree from California State University of Northridge. In 2015 she was offered a tasting room position at Tablas Creek and knew she couldn’t pass up the opportunity. She immediately relocated to the Paso Robles wine country with a couple car loads of her belongings and her dog. Ever since, Amanda has been seeking out and taking on every challenge to broaden her knowledge.
Amanda’s Tablas Career has included tasting room assistant, tasting room lead, merchandising assistant, harvest intern, and finally, after a harvest abroad in the Barossa Valley of Australia, she returned as a full time cellar assistant.
In her free time Amanda enjoys cooking, starting projects, camping, and spending time with her partner Jordan and their dog Shelby.
Nathan was born and raised just a few miles from Tablas Creek in Paso Robles. As a young man he moved to Mexico to work with a humanitarian organization building homes for people in need. He lived in Mexico for twelve years and worked for many instrumental producers in the wine industry including Hugo Dacosta at Casa de Piedra, La Escuelita and 5 Estrellas.
Nathan and his wife Leslie (also a member of the Tablas Creek team) moved back to the Central Coast in 2011. Nathan worked as the Vineyard/Ranch Manager at Rangeland Wines and developed the thriving sheep program. Nathan began working at Tablas Creek in the fall of 2016 bringing 5 years of experience grazing sheep in vineyards and 8 years of vineyard management experience. On his days off you can find Nathan surfing or making music.
Get to know Nathan on the Tablas Creek blog.
Wine Club & Hospitality
Wine Club & Hospitality Director
Nicole Getty grew up in a sleepy town in northern CA, and in 1990 she moved to San Luis Obispo to attend Cal Poly. With a degree in sociology, she dabbled in human resources and social work in the bay area and Seattle before finding her way back to the central coast. By the time she returned in 2001, the wine industry was starting to boom and she decided to make a career change to true social work—hospitality!
Nicole quickly started to appreciate and enjoy wine with her first winery position and started to incorporate food and wine by working part-time with caterers and event planners. When the position at Tablas Creek became available that involved all of these things that she enjoyed (plus great wine!), she jumped at it. Nicole joined the Tablas Creek team in 2004 as the Wine Club & Hospitality Director and has the job that her friends who work in the Bay Area are envious of.
Get to know Nikki on the Tablas Creek blog.
Direct Sales Manager
Monica O’Connor came to the Central Coast from Southern California where she raised her son and earned her degree in Fashion Design and Merchandising from FIDM. While working as General Manager at Tara Graphics, she attended the 2004 Paso Robles Wine University. She enthusiastically pursued more wine education and started working in the Tablas Creek tasting room in 2008.
With over 15 years experience in sales, management, hosting food and wine events and catering, it was a natural progression to Tablas Creek’s exemplary Wine Club and Hospitality team.
Monica enjoys hiking and yoga, cooking, recipe development, and designing.
Wine Club Assistant
Jenny was born and raised in Arroyo Grande. She attended Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo for nursing and worked in the medical field for 6 years. After getting married and having her two kids, Amanda and Caleb, she decided to become a stay at home mom until her move to Paso in 2003.
At the time the Paso wine scene was really growing and seemed like a fun career change. At her first winery gig she became good friends with the winemaker who taught her everything about wine from the blending process to bottling and beyond. She started at Tablas Creek in 2017 in the tasting room and it didn’t take long for her to accept a job opening in the wine club in 2018.
Jenny’s proudly admits that Beringer White Zinfandel was her first wine and she loved it! When she’s not in the tasting room you can find her spending time with family and friends, cooking, going on new adventures, food and wine pairing, spending time at the beach, trying new restaurants, and of course trying new wines.
Wine Club Assistant
Janelle grew up in Livermore, CA where she fondly recalls grapevines lining the rolling hills. It was in second grade that she had a class field trip to a Livermore winery during harvest and can still recall the wafting aromas of freshly pressed grapes in the cellar. Fascinated with that experience as a young child, it resonated with her and sparked an interest for wine. In 1997 she moved to San Luis Obispo for College, met her husband and worked in Accounting for over ten years until she left the workplace to stay home and raise her 3 adorable children.
In 2011 a friend introduced her to Tablas Creek and it was then that she knew she wanted to be a part of the Tablas Creek family one day. After living in San Luis Obispo for many years she moved to Templeton with her family in 2015 and decided to pursue her passion for wine, the bustling Paso Robles wine industry….and grown-up conversation. She started working in the tasting room on the weekends in May of 2015 and was added to the Wine Club Team part time in April of 2016. Janelle truly feels like she is working exactly where she is meant to be. When you can’t find Janelle at the winery she is often at the soccer field or dance studio with her kiddos, or enjoying cider at Bristol’s with her husband, David.
Wine Club Travel Concierge
Joelle Cliff, a native Parisian, educated at the Sorbonne, has been a hospitality and service industry business owner since 1990. World traveled and exposed to many cultures and people since early childhood, Joelle has lived extensively in Paris, Provence, Washington D.C, New York City and Los Angeles, before falling in love with the California Central Coast where she and her husband, Dr. John Cliff, call Paso Robles their home.
Many of you know our associate Joelle from her great work in the tasting room and we are excited to announce that she has put her experience at the service of all of you as our new Wine Club Concierge. For advice and reservation help with a visit to Paris, the various wine regions of France, or your next visit to the California Central Coast, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tasting Room Manager
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 just east of Paso Robles.
Get to know John on the Tablas Creek blog.
Assistant Tasting Room Manager
Charlie spent the first 25 years of his life in Santa Barbara, California. He now resides on the beautiful Central Coast and enjoys the outdoors. Charlie joined the VINsider Wine Club during his first visit to the winery. Charlie has worked in the tasting room since 2010 and can often be found transporting wine throughout the winery, on a fork lift or in the tasting room.
Get to know Charlie on the Tablas Creek blog.
Tasting Room Team Lead
Leslie was born and raised in Mexico City, growing up her parents exposed her to a cosmopolitan yet traditional life. Her family often traveled throughout Mexico where she learned to appreciate the Native Mexican and Spanish cultures which influence so much art, history, and food of the country.
In her early 20’s she moved to Ensenada, Baja California, the main Mexican wine region, where she met Nathan, her husband. Shortly after she married she started managing a wine store and organized educational wine events. In 2011 Leslie and Nathan moved to the beautiful Central Coast, where Nathan was originally from, with the intention of continuing their careers in wine. After learning more about Tablas Creek’s story, the beautiful wines, and the environmentally responsible practices, Leslie joined the team in 2013.
Leslie lives in Paso Robles with her husband Nathan, and their two dogs. She has a love and appreciation for nature, she is also a yoga teacher and loves cooking, reading and hiking.
Get to know Leslie on the Tablas Creek blog.
Tasting Room Team Lead
Gustavo was born and raised in Chile were he developed his love of agriculture on his grandfather’s farm. In 1982 he came to California and earned a degree in fruit science from Cal Poly. His early career was spent in the produce business and he worked for many years in the Netherlands and Chile.
He returned to the Central Coast in 2000 and decided to pursue his passion for wine. Gustavo obtained his wine certificate from Cal Poly in 2008 and has worked the harvest at Wild Horse and Bianchi wineries. In the fall of 2010, Gustavo worked the harvest at Château de Beaucastel, Tablas Creek’s sister winery in France.
Gustavo has been with Tablas Creek since 2007. Today, he is one of our tasting room’s team leads and continues to share his love of wine with our clientele from near and far.
Get to know Gustavo on the Tablas Creek blog.
Tasting Room Sales Lead
Evelyne was born and raised in Lyon, France. After meeting her future husband, she moved to Los Angeles where she developed a successful career importing and distributing French fashion brands in the US market. In 2001, she returned to graduate school. She now holds a PhD in French and Francophone Studies from UCLA and still teaches for UCLA online. She became fascinated with Central Coast wines while visiting winemaker friends. Then in 2012, she and her husband took a leap of faith, sold their house in Hollywood and moved to Paso.
Growing up in the landscape of Rhône wines, it was just natural that when the opportunity to join the Tablas Team presented itself in the spring of 2014, Evelyne jumped right in. She is now Wine Consultant at Tablas and a Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) from the Society of Wine Educators.
Evelyne brings a unique blend of wine expertise, educational skills, sales experience, intimate knowledge of French wine tradition and a passionate interest for the wine culture. She believes that while wine can be complex and intimidating, its focus is all about the good things in life; good food, great company, and wonderful memories.
When not working at the winery or teaching online, Evelyne can be found stomping or punching her small experimental wine production. She also writes about wines, food and the Paso community. Being immersed in the wine culture has been one of the most rewarding things she has ever done.
Get to know Evelyne on the Tablas Creek blog.
Sales & Marketing
Tasting Room Wine Consultant
Rumyn Purewal was born and raised on her family peach farm in Sutter County. She attended Cal Poly SLO straight out of high school attaining her degree in Agricultural Business. During her time at Cal Poly she did a study abroad program in Adelaide Australia for wine sales and visited Barossa Valley and McLaren vale. It was here that she was first exposed the beauty of the vine and inspired by the fermented juice it creates.
Rumyn moved to Cambria after graduation and started working in the tasting room at Tablas Creek. She loves the team oriented and family feel of being a part of an incredible company. She’s known as the bracelet girl at Tablas Creek and you will often see her smiling face greeting you as you walk in.
National Sales Manager
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 before joining Tablas Creek as National Sales Manager in 2012.
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 is currently is living in San Luis Obispo with his partner Jillian, son Shea and daughter Canyon.
Get to know Darren on the Tablas Creek blog.
Media & Marketing
Ian grew up a mere 8.6 miles from Tablas Creek Vineyard in the historic township of Roblar (yes it’s a real place). After graduating from Templeton High School his ambition was to move to a place more industrious than the beautiful rolling hills of green that can seem stifling to a teenager, finding himself in Southern California.
After attaining a degree in marketing and pursuing multiple business ventures including developing and growing the business objectives of a non-profit focused on the employment of homeless in Downtown Los Angeles, he listened to the newer, more logical ambition to return to those green hills.
He found himself in Tablas Creek’s tasting room where, after only a year, was fortunate enough to be promoted to the marketing department where his decade of experience could be used to benefit the wine and company he had fallen in love with.
In his off time Ian hangs out with his best friend Rasta, surfs and watches Game of Thrones with his mother.
Meghan Dunn grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, where the beverage of choice was Coca-Cola. She attended Williams College, where she met husband Jason Haas and began her wine education thanks to her father-in-law’s extensive cellar. She earned a PhD from Yale University in Social Psychology in 2000, and researches policy issues for the federal court system.
She and Jason moved to Paso Robles in 2002 to be more involved with the winery, and Meghan now splits her time between her federal court work and Tablas Creek. At Tablas Creek, Meghan produces the quarterly newsletter, coordinates the label printing and approval processes, and writes all other promotional materials.
When not advocating for fewer words on the wine labels, Meghan enjoys reading, running and travel. She and Jason have two sons, Eli and Sebastian, who are also happily learning the family business.
Sales & Marketing
Suphada grew up in the heart of the Green Mountains in small town Windsor, Vermont. After studying biology and backpacking through Europe, she decided that food and wine was a passion she had to make her job, not just a hobby. She spent four years serving at a local fine dining restaurant, tasting every dish and wine in house. In 2014, she had the pleasure of meeting the Haas family at a Tablas Creek tasting in their hometown of Chester, Vermont. Her enthusiasm led to a job offer, which propelled a cross-country move to beautiful Paso Robles, California.
At Tablas Creek, Suphada has worked in the tasting room and wine club, and in writing the Eat Drink Tablas blog series. She has recently moved to New York, where she is pursuing graduate school, and in between writing papers is stealing time to represent Tablas Creek in the New York area. She recently passed her Certified Sommelier exam.
Accounting & Facilities
Denise Chouinard has spent nearly three decades here in California, dedicated to the start and growth of Tablas Creek. Born in Townshend, Vermont, she moved to Chester, which is where she first met Robert Haas. Denise was hired initially to work in the marketing department at Vineyard Brands, and was eventually promoted to be assistant controller.
When the idea of Tablas Creek was birthed and Bob began dedicating his time to building the winery in California, he asked Denise to come aboard. At the time, there was the option of staying in Vermont, moving with Vineyard Brands down to Birmingham, Alabama, or pursuing a new adventure in Paso Robles, California. Excited at the prospect of both moving to California and pioneering something new and exciting in the wine industry, she chose to relocate to help start Tablas Creek Vineyard. Denise and her husband, Joe, both dug right into the growing industry, she as the Controller of the vineyard and he as a practicing civil engineer, specializing in winery systems. After commuting back and forth between the two coasts, they settled down in Paso in 1997, right around the same time the first vintage of Tablas Rouge was produced.
Looking back, she can remember when she first moved here, how exciting it was and how great the people were- which still rings true today. When not at work, she and Joe love to cook and experiment with new recipes and wine pairings.
Eileen Harms is the self-proclaimed “excel queen” of the accounting team at Tablas Creek. Her excel-lent duties include accounts payable, wholesale and export orders and documentation, off premise wine inventory, storage and transporting, bottling, planting and harvest reporting. If it fits on a spreadsheet, it’s probably on Eileen’s desk!
Prior to her husband’s career relocating them to Paso Robles, Eileen owned and operated an upscale restaurant in Lincoln NE for sixteen years, appropriately named Inn Harms Way. Once in Paso Robles she continued to manage restaurants for several years before decided to fall back on her accounting degree and took on work with local developers. Eileen jumped at the chance to get involved in the wine industry when an accounting position opened up at Tablas Creek.
Her professional passions in cooking, wine tasting, and food and wine pairings is now her hobby. Eileen is blessed to have a wonderful husband, two daughters, son-in-laws and two grandsons. When the family gets together, it is all about food and wine!
Jennifer, a native San Franciscan, avid cyclist, dog rescuer and wine lover recently relocated from Atlanta where she and her husband, Mike (sweetheart from the 7th grade), had spent the past 4 years.
With a BS degree in accounting and CPA certified, Jennifer has held several positions in various industries; concrete to aviation to cold storage/logistics to podcasting and finally coming to what she feels is like “dying and going to heaven” the wine industry and in particular the wine industry in the Paso Robles area where for the past ten years or so Jennifer and Mike have been vacationing. So to say the least, they are extremely excited about making Paso their permanent home.
IT & Facilities Manager
Randy grew up in Monterey County and moved to Portland, Oregon to finish getting his bachelor’s degree in network management. While living in Portland Randy worked for US Bank on their help desk supporting over 10,000 users and for a manufacturing business in a systems administrator capacity that utilized 7 different locations all in different states. In 2006 the decision was made to move back to Monterey County when an opportunity to work for The Pebble Beach Company as their server administrator job came open. In 2008, an opening on the central coast with a local IT company presented itself, and Randy started working with several different types of businesses in different industries throughout San Luis Obispo County, Monterey County, and Santa Barbara County.
The industry that intrigued Randy the most was the wine industry. He had seen and been to several wineries throughout the central coast but the wine being produced at Tablas Creek Vineyard really captured his attention. Randy joined the Tablas Creek team in 2016 where he takes care of day to day IT needs for the company and provides facilities management as well. He enjoys every day working in an industry that he truly enjoys being a part of.