Notes from Cameron:
John Paul, the irrepressible owner and winemaker of Cameron, founded the winery in 1984. After working out of a roofless warehouse on the other side of the tracks in McMinnville, we moved to our current location in the hills above Dundee. Here, we planted Clos Electrique, a 4 acre dry-farmed vineyard that included Pinot noir and Chardonnay. Clos Electrique was planted in a traditional Burgundian manner, using several different clones of each varietal. Over the years the vineyard has expanded to 7 acres. Varietals now also include Nebbiolo and a field blend of white Italian grapes.
John Paul came to winemaking from an academic background. After receiving a PhD in Marine Biochemistry, he realized that winemaking offered opportunities to use the right side of his brain and to drink at work. He therefore jumped academic ship and began working in the wine industry, with stints in Oregon, New Zealand, and California. After working as an assistant winemaker at Carneros Creek Winery in the Napa Valley, he took the high road north and started Cameron with his wife, Teri Wadsworth, and partners, Bill and Julia Wayne of Abbey Ridge Vineyard, Marc Dochez, and Shawna Archibald. The winery name was inspired by its location in Dundee and was named after the Paul family’s Scottish Clan.
Clos Electrique is farmed organically which means that we use elemental sulfur during the growing season to prevent growth of powdery mildew and use copper hydroxide and leaf removal in the vicinity of grape clusters to inhibit botrytis. Insect pests are generally kept in check by cultivation of predatory insects with integrated cover crops. This is one of the warmer vineyard sites in the Red Hills of Dundee and usually is harvested during the second half of September. Yields of the “rouge” average 1.5 tons per acre (20.5 hl/hectare) while the “blanc” generally yields 2.0 tons per acre (27 hl/hectare). Our vineyard was the very first certified Salmon-Safe vineyard in Oregon, which reflects our long term commitment to riparian protection, water management and conservation of native biodiversity.