From Cameron Geographic (1993)Cover   |   1   |   2   |   3

Searching for Wild Yeasts

ON ASSIGNMENT. One of the authors poses as Wonder Bread at local feeding grounds in order to catch Newbergundians on film..As it turned out, we didn’t need to go far in our search for wild yeasts. They were right there in the vineyard cleverly concealed on the skins of our grapes. We found that they foraged on exactly the same diet as our domestic yeasts but their flavors were, well, a bit gamy! The accepted lore amongst keepers of domestic yeasts has been that wild yeasts do not do well in captivity. While we did find individuals among the wild yeasts who performed poorly in the spaces which we provided, most did extremely well.

The intrepid band of adventurers from Cameron have found several different habitats with wild yeasts lurking therein.

1991 CHARDONNAY RESERVE: 40% of this habitat was influenced by wild yeasts with the balance conceded to their domestic cousins (some imported from as far away as Australia). Toasty, wild aromas and a creamy, soft texture dominate this year’s Reserve. Limited numbers make this a Threatened Species.

1991 PINOT NOIR ABBEY RIDGE: Sophisticated and elegant even though it’s completely wild; this is the best year that Abbey Ridge has produced. It provides an ecosystem full of lavender and spices planted on rich earth. We’ve even left some of the wild yeasts, on the bottom of the bottle for your viewing pleasure. Threatened.

1991 CLOS ELECTRIQUE: Wild and crazy guys come from this vineyard; they smell like dark roasted coffee with black cherries thrown in for good measure. This is not for the faint of heart. A top rate ecosystem but requiring definite limits on the chase. Endangered.

1990 CLOS ELECTRIQUE: Softer than 1991 but still plenty firm, the wild yeasts this year produced vanishingly small quantities. Severely Endangered.

NONVINTAGE PINOT NOIR: Take various habitats and years from above and throw them together. This is a surprisingly complex habitat and one which has become increasingly popular at Cameron.

We wish you happy hunting but, please, take only what you intend to consume!

Journey back in time with us and browse the last 20 or so years of mailers, newsletters, and video.

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