Clos Electrique

Abandon despair, all ye who enter here -- the gates at Clos Electrique (photo by Matt Giraud)The estate vineyard at Cameron Winery consists of approximately 3 acres of Pinot noir, 2 acres of Chardonnay, 0.5 acres of  Italian white grape varieties and 0.5 acres of Nebbiolo.  Each block of vines is planted to multiple clones.  This technique increases the complexity of the resulting wines as well as giving the vineyard great resilience in the face of various of climatic and biological impediments.  Most of the Pinot noir clones were planted in 1984 though some have been added along the way.  Most of the Chardonnay clones were planted in 1987 with the addition of some Pinot blanc more recently in an attempt to more truly emulate a classic Burgundian white vineyard.

In 1994 we planted a small experimental row of 2 different clones of Nebbiolo. Our thinking was that Barolo/Barbaresco lie on the 45th parallel and besides nebbiolo they are one of the few locales in the world where hazelnuts (nocciolo) grow.  We cleared an orchard of hazelnuts to plant our vineyard.  By 1999 we were convinced that we could in fact successfully grow nebbiolo here and so started grafting and planting.  By 2003 we had planted a half-acre and by 2006 we were able to produce our first commercial batch of nebbiolo.  Since we have adopted the long aging regimen typical of Barolo and Barbaresco, our first nebbiolo was not released until Fall of 2010.  Thus 2007 is slated to be available in Fall of 2011.  Quantities are extremely small at this point.

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).

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