In 1989, Robert Haas, Jean-Pierre Perrin and François Perrin established Tablas Creek Vineyard west of Paso Robles, on California's Central Coast. Named after the small creek running through the property, the 120-acre site twelve miles from the Pacific Ocean shares many of the same characteristics as the Perrins' Rhone estate. The shallow, rocky limestone soils are of the same geologic origin as those at Beaucastel, and the Mediterranean climate of hot summer days and cold nights is ideal for Rhone-style grapes. The influence of the nearby Pacific cools the nights and lengthens the growing season, while the site's 1500-foot elevation keeps the vineyard above the coastal fog.
To ensure that the vines at the California estate were of the highest quality, the partners imported several clones each of Mourvedre, Grenache Noir, Syrah, Counoise, Roussanne, Viognier, Marsanne, and Grenache Blanc from Beaucastel. These vines underwent a USDA-mandated three-year quarantine, and were released to Tablas Creek for multiplication in 1993. Importation of additional varietals continued throughout the next decade, and the vineyard expects to have all thirteen Chateauneuf-du-Pape varietals by 2006. These varietals were propagated and grafted at Tablas Creek's on-site nursery, the only such facility in California.
In addition to providing quality vine material to Tablas Creek Vineyard, the Tablas Creek nursery has sold vines to many of the elite Rhone producers in California, including Ridge, Qupe, Bonny Doon, Beckmcn, Andrew Murray, Zaca Mesa, L'Aventure, Garretson, and Justin.