Paso Robles Highlights – Part Deux

On my recent Paso Robles, Ca. trip, I visited two other wineries that are noteworthy and recommended. Both have ties to Europe.

Tablas Creek is a collaboration of the Perrin family of Château de Beaucastel in Châteauneuf-de-Pape, in the southern Rhône valley of France, and Robert Haas, an importer and founder of Vineyard Brands. They chose their specific California site because of its similarities to its French counterpart…limestone soils, favorable climate and rugged terrain. In short, a comparable terroir.

An organic estate vineyard (one that uses grapes grown in its own vineyards), Tablas Creek specializes in red and white Rhône blends. They also produce Rosé, several limited release single varietals and a few dessert wines.  ($27-$95 at this writing)

Their signature blend is Esprit de Beaucastel. The Esprit red is Mourvèdre based, while the Esprit Blanc is Rousanne based.  Prices range from $36-$55 at this writing.

Photos by Christine Humphrey ©2012

Their Côtes de Tablas blend, that I purchased, is a Grenache based wine at $30, while the Côtes de Tablas Blanc is Viognier based and retails for $27 at this writing.

Since 2010, the winery has produced Patelin de Tablas, whose red is Syrah based and its Blanc is Grenache Blanc based. Both sell for $20 at this writing. For more information, go to


Photo by Christine Humphrey ©2012

The other notable winery, Vina Robles, founded by Zurich natives Hans Nef and Hans Michel, is a gem that deserves a visit. My initial attraction began with its extensive, user friendly website. In person, the winery did not disappoint. Located just across the road from Robert Hall, the Vina Robles tasting room is very impressive and beautifully designed.

In another wing of the building is the large art gallery, where the works of various artists are on display and for sale. There is a special and natural synergy between wine and art. I have visited wineries in California, Oregon, France and Italy that showcase art and wine side by side.

Photo by Christine Humphrey ©2012

Sometimes a winery can be beautiful, have all the design bells and whistles, but make only marginal wines. This was not the case at Vina Robles. My favorite was their “Signature”, an unconventional blend, based on Petite Verdot, a grape that is usually used in a very small percentage of a Bordeaux blend.  Their other wines in this Cuvée Collection are Suendero, a Cabernet Sauvignon/Petite Verdot Blend, and Syreé, showcasing Syrah, Petite Verdot and other varietals. Vina Robles also produces a red and white “Power of 4” , a blend of four varietals, as well as single varietal estate Petite Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc.  Prices at this writing on Vina Robles wines are $13-$49. For more information, go to

Photo by Christine Humphrey ©2012

Paso Robles is equidistant (about a 3 hour drive) from Los Angeles and San Francisco on US 101. For more information on Paso Robles Wines, go to

Until next time…à Votre Santé!

©2012 by Christine Humphrey

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