Just Say NO to Irrigation

deep roots coalition logoDo grapevines need irrigation in a place that receives in excess of 40 inches of rainfall per year? If you find the concept ridiculous, then you’re already with us. If not, please read on!

Cameron winery is a founding member of the Deep Roots Coalition “drc” (in small letters in an attempt to be humble). We are committed to bringing you wines which truly reflect the wonderful area in which we live.  Our grapevines send their roots deep in search for water and minerals and bring forth each year a wine which says “this is Oregon fruit, it could be from no other region of the world.”  Growing grapevines in a traditional method without irrigation makes ecological sense and creates  wines with more complexity.

Clean fresh water is being increasingly referred to as the oil of the 21st century both because of rising demand for and diminishing quantities of it.  Given that scenario, does it not strike you as a bit of folly to be pumping it out of the ground and dumping it next to plants which are thoroughly capable of finding their own water?

In most of the grape-growing regions of Europe, the vintner loses the right to put the appellation on the bottle if he/she irrigates the vines. This is because they realize that the terroir has everything to do with the soil, latitude and rainfall associated with the vines. To irrigate is to take away a critical component of the terroir.  A wine’s intensity and aromatic makeup have everything to do with the amount of rainfall or lack thereof.

Cameron Winery was the first Salmon-Safe vineyard in the Pacific Northwest.  This reflects our long-term commitment to riparian protection, conservation of natural biodiversity and water management.


From John, November 12th, 2015

The 2013 vintage saved... by a website

In the fall, as grape clusters are nearing their state of perfection, it is rain and the temperature associated with it that I keep a vigilant eye on. Depending on the year, “the ripe zone” for Pinot noir can range from several days to 2 weeks. In the latter part of September 2013, The University of Washington Department of Meteorology predicted a major storm rolling into Oregon. Thanks to a heads up from their website, we scheduled picking for 5 consecutive days, and brought our grapes in just before several inches of warm rain nearly destroyed the 2013 crop.

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