Tablas Creek Team Meet the people of Tablas Creek Vineyard
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 an undergraduate degree in Economics from Williams College and a Master's in Archaeology from Cornell, Jason spent a four-year stint managing a tech company in Washington, DC. He moved to Paso Robles 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 serves on the Board of Directors of the Rhone Rangers (as Past President) and Free the Grapes, and is a former board member of the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance and 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.
Founder, In Memoriam
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.
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.
In addition to his work at Tablas Creek, Neil is the mind behind Lone Madrone winery, which he runs with his sister Jackie and his wife Marci. Outside of the world of wine, he also created and runs Bristol's Cider and Bristol's Cider House, to honor the long cider tradition of south-west England, where he grew up.
Neil was named San Luis Obispo County Winemaker of the Year in 2013, and Paso Robles Wine Country Wine Industry Person of the Year in 2019.
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, and she has been a part of the leadership team in the cellar ever since. In 2020, her peers voted her Paso Robles Cellar Worker of the Year.
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, their daughter Alma, 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.
Get to know Amanda on the Tablas Creek blog.
Born in Templeton, CA and raised on the Tablas Creek Estate since 1998, Austin (better known as “Boo”) was practically born in a barrel. The rolling hills of the Adelaide were his stomping grounds until he moved to the North Coast to study Wildlife Sciences and Creative Writing. After being away from his homeland for five years he made the choice to return to assist the family’s business: Bristols Cider.
After deciding that fermentation was his chosen path he was hired as a harvest intern at local winery Linne Calodo. Following that he spent six months in France split between Meursault’s Domaine Matrot and in the Rhone working with the Perrins at Chateau de Beaucastel. Having enough of the French he then spent a vintage working under Helen Masters at Ata Rangi in beautiful Martinborough, New Zealand. After another vintage at Linne Calodo Austin started full time at Tablas Creek in 2019. He can be found mostly in the cellar and occasionally working in the vineyard.
Outside of wine he enjoys long hikes with his wife Taylor, rock climbing, fermenting foods, and of course cider!
Director of Biodynamics
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.
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.
Get to know Monica on the Tablas Creek blog.
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.
Direct Sales and Wine Club Assistant
Leslie was born and raised in Mexico City. In 2008 she moved to the country’s main wine region, Ensenada, Baja California where she was commissioned to start and manage a Mexican wine shop. This opportunity immediately immersed her in the Mexican wine community and developed her passion for wine.
She moved to California’s Central Coast in 2011, and as soon as she received her “green card” in 2013 she started at Tablas Creek where she’s worked in the wine club department, as lead in the tasting room, and in the cellar for a couple harvests. In 2017 she was invited to assist Fabian Leperchois of Domaine de Carabiniers in the southern Rhone Valley as a harvest intern where she learned biodynamic winemaking processes and learned French an immersive French speaking environment. Later in 2017 she led a waste reduction initiative at Tablas Creek which is an ongoing effort. Leslie is continually finding ways to be a better steward of the planet. Leslie is now the assistant tasting room manager where she manages apparel purchasing and is typically the first face guests see upon arrival to our tasting room.
Leslie is a devoted yogini who also loves hiking with her pooches Maya and Jo, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with family and friends
Get to know Leslie on the Tablas Creek blog.
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 email@example.com
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.
Senior 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.
Assistant Tasting Room Manager
Rumyn Purewal was born and raised on her family peach farm in Sutter County. She attended Cal Poly SLO and attained 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 to the beauty of the vine and inspired by the fermented juice it creates.
Rumyn moved to Morro Bay 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. You will often see her smiling face greeting you as you walk in.
Get to know Rumyn on the Tablas Creek blog.
Tasting Room Lead
Elizabeth (Lizzie) Williams was born and raised on the central coast. While most of her childhood was spent on her grandfather’s 200 acre dairy farm in Templeton, CA she likes to point out that she’s lived in 23 different places in her life; all of which were on the central coast.
She spent most of her professional career in the restaurant industry working for local staples such as Thomas Hill Organics and Andrea’s. It was through her employment at The Pony Club that she found an interest in wine. A friend of hers recommend she check out Tablas Creek in 2018 and she has been in the tasting room with the winery ever since. Lizzie says she really enjoys the educational aspect of Tablas Creek.
When not working Lizzie spends most of her time hiking the 90 acre property where she lives with her husband Christian and their dog Hank.
Tasting Room Lead
Misty grew up in Encinitas where she developed a love for travel, concerts, festivals, hockey games (go Blackhawks!), and all things fun. Before moving to the central coast she taught Special Education for 12 years as an Instructional Assistant.
When her husband Nathan was relocated to a fire house on the Central Coast she was given an incredible opportunity; the opportunity to fall in love with wine. After visiting multiple tasting rooms she saw Tablas Creek Vineyard as a fit for her and never looked back. Misty is very family oriented. Her and Nathan have two fabulous kids that are as adventurous as they are.
On her free time you will find Misty working on her latest building project with a glass of Tannat not too far from arms reach.
Ray was born and raised in Ventura county and has lived throughout California including Humboldt, San Francisco and Santa Cruz counties; however, the central coast will always be home.
Prior to the wine industry Ray worked in the outdoor/environmental education industry in nearly every state and national park in California. His last career, before the wine industry, was 12 years with the environmental giant Patagonia. He has over 20 years experience in customer service, events, marketing and product testing. Currently his wine career is in its 10th year with many more to follow.
Working with the great wines of Tablas Creek Vineyard and spreading the knowledge, and love of wine, to our customer’s is a joy and keeps him coming back for more.
When not working, Ray loves to travel, cook, surf, golf and be involved with any outdoor activity.
Lastly, he wants everyone to make the right choices - organic, recycle, reuse, respect, love. We only have one planet and we need to start thinking that way.
Sales & Marketing
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 lives in Templeton with his partner Jillian, son Shea and daughter Canyon.
Get to know Darren on the Tablas Creek blog.
Director of 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.
Get to know Ian on the Tablas Creek blog.
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.
Accounting & Facilities
Denise Chouinard has spent more than 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.
Accounts Payable and Compliance
Jody was born and raised in Clovis, CA, born into a farming family, she developed her love of vineyards and wine from an early age. Jody enrolled in the Enology program at California State University, Fresno in 2011 and in her first semester she was hired by the University’s Enology Department to be their Wine Club Manager, Event Planner, Office Manager, and Brand Ambassador. In the spring of her junior year she decided the business route was better suited, so she switched majors, and graduated with a degree in Agricultural Business in 2015. After a few more years of working at Fresno State Winery, she decided it was time to pack her bags and move to Paso Robles Wine Country.
Since moving in 2017, Jody has gained experience working tasting rooms, helping the cellar crews during harvest, managing inventory and logistics, and accounting. These experiences lead her to Tablas Creek in the Fall of 2020.
In addition to her love for wine, Jody has been riding horses since she could walk. She competed in High School Rodeo, College Rodeo, and jackpots in between, now you can find her out in the barn with her horses and two dogs. You can also find her spending time tending to her garden or working on home winemaking projects. Jody’s downtime is usually spent with family and friends, and you can be sure a glass of wine is never far from reach.
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.
Born in Southern California, Eddie moved up to Paso Robles in the summer of 1994. Being in the Wine Industry was something that he never could have imagined. But he is thankful for the career that he's been able to have so far.
Eddie has been working in warehouse/logistics for almost 20 years, and he says the last 10 years has been a life changer for him. He had the opportunity to work for seven years with the award winning craft brewer Firestone Walker. During that time he was able to see and be a part of the growth and development from a one brewhouse and one warehouse facility, to the sprawling campus we see now when we drive down the 101. With that experience Eddie sought out a new challenge. When an opportunity to jump into the wine industry presented itself he took that chance, working for Broken Earth Winery over the past last three years. They provided the experience and knowledge, that led him to Tablas Creek.
In his free time Eddie enjoys being a dad of two boys, Ryan and Frankie, drives limousines for a local company, and his favorite baseball team, the 2020 World Champion Los Angeles Dodgers.