Our Rhone varietal rootstock is directly descended from the Côtes du Rhône wine region in the southern Rhone Valley of France, notably the exceptional red Châteauneuf-du-Pape blend of Château de Beaucastel , which dates to the 18th century.
The Tablas Creek Winery brought vitis vinifera rootstock from the French estate to California. Several clones each of Mourvédre, Grenache Noir, Syrah, Counoise, Roussanne, Viognier, Marsanne, Grenache Blanc and Picpoul Blanc were imported.
This diversity allowed Tablas Creek to replicate the clonal selection of an established French vineyard. This rootstock is licensed to nurseries in California and Washington and is now planted in our vineyards. These high quality vines, hand-selected for intensity of flavor and true varietal character, are the perfect compliment to the ranch terroir and our environmentally sustainable farming practices.
Château de Beaucastel
Beaucastel's terroir is marked by the Rhone violence. It is made with a layer of marine molasses (sandstone) from the Miocene period, covered by alpine alluvium. The presence of a great number of rounded stones, known as « galets », bear evidence of the time when the Rhone, a torrent at this time, tore fragments of rocks from the Alps and deposited them along its course.
The meso-climate plays an important role with a low rainfall, beautiful sunshine and spectacular temperature differences. Here, the « galets » make an essential contribution to the quality of the vintage: they retain the heat of the day and radiate it to the vines during the night. The Mistral wind that blows through the very old vines, with gnarled roots, dries and clean the vines planted in the traditional style called "gobelet".
Château de Beaucastel covers 130 hectares but only 100 hectares are planted with ¾ in Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée Châteauneuf-du-Pape (CHATEAU DE BEAUCASTEL) and ¼ in Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée Côtes-du-Rhône (COUDOULET DE BEAUCASTEL). The remaining 30 hectares are farmed with rotated crops to prepare new vineyard plantings: every year, one or two hectares are ploughed up and the equivalent area is replanted on land unplanted during at least 10 years.
The 100 hectares situated around the Château, the historic land of Beaucastel, have the memory of the 13 grapes varieties of Châteauneuf-du-Pape appelation: MOURVEDRE, GRENACHE, SYRAH, CINSAULT, VACCARESE, COUNOISE, TERRET NOIR, MUSCARDIN, CLAIRETTE, PICPOUL, PICARDAN, BOURBOULENC and ROUSSANNE.