From O Pinot, Where Art Thou? (2001)Cover   |   1

O Pinot, Where Art Thou? (2001)

“Sing in me, Muse, and through me tell the story of that man skilled in degustation and collector of fine wines, on how, not so long ago, he set off to spend more money than even Zeus himself possessed all on a single bottle of Pinot noir.”

As the head of a failing dot com venture, Mr. Pelias knew only too well that a young upstart would likely be vying soon for his position. Thus did he make haste, as any responsible CEO in his position would, to the Oracle at Cameron. After plying the sooth-sayer with ample quantities of good wine, a prophecy was forth coming: in addition to rantings about washed out wines from irrigated vines and the stupidity of buying Pinot noir on futures, Pelias did manage to glean useful dialogue relating to an employee who would usurp his position, and that he should be aware of anyone shod in only a single sandal. Indeed, upon his return to his small kingdom he did notice just such a person and was afraid:

O Pinot! Cameron WineryPelias: “You, with the one sandal!”
Jason: “I can explain”
P: “Hush, the oracle has spoken: your name is Jason!”
J: “Well, no, actually it’s Richard”
P: “Do not beguile me with deceit and lies; speak truthfully; do you not wish to be in charge around here?”
J: “That’d be cool!”
P: “You see, the Oracle of Cameron does not lie! But I cannot hand over my 7-series BMW, my golden parachute and my worthless stock options without first a deed performed. The prophecy requires that you seek out the Golden Fleece of Oregon wine … the most ludicrously expensive bottle of wine yet released to the marketplace.”

In his heart, Pileas knew that the perils of such a venture all but precluded its success thereby securing his existence at the top. Jason, being an inveterate wine drinker and proud owner of a tastevin, was delighted at the prospect of this great adventure. Other young men of the dot com joyfully met the challenge; they came the best and the noblest to join his cause and upregulate their alcohol dehydrogenase. They came armed with all accouterments for the coming engagement: Wine Spectators, Wine Advocates and Riedel stemware, credit cards, checkbooks and cash. Great perils lay before them … the clashing cars of the Terwilliger Curves, the misaligned stoplights of Tigard, the speedtraps in Sherwood and the pedestrian wineries along the way posing as “the real thing.” They set forth in their SUV, a “Ford Argos.”

O Pinot! Cameron WineryThe argonauts soon came to a tasting room overrun with frightful creatures thrusting their glasses in the face of the poor attendant, Phineus. Possessing an unerring ability to tell the future, Phineus had predicted that a $100 wine would appear in Oregon. The idea of a mere mortal charging deistic prices unleashed Harpies from the financial district upon the poor man … every time that Phineus attempted to pour a glass of wine for himself the screeching hellions would swoop in thrusting their wine glasses in his face so (See Edith Hamilton, Mythology p. 11 9) that he had not a chance to taste the wine himself. His blood alcohol was pitifully low and as the Argonauts listened to his lamentations, they agreed to help. The swiftest amongst them flew to the front door, tossed a log in the path of the Harpies and presented a “Closed” sign defiantly in front of them, thereby thwarting the screeching bests forever. In gratitude, Phineus gave them wise advice about the dangers ahead…at the French winery up the road the Argonauts should carry a boom box to protect them from the Sirens and their seductive song. They were to ignore false pretenders of the Golden Fleece, wineries beginning with the letters “A” and “T.” At the site of the beguiling Sirens (a slightly disheveled Martha and her friend Willamina [see Martha Cameron Living]) melodious verse did descend upon the adventurers, with more than a few wishing for a headlong dash into that ambrosial vat.

O Pinot! Cameron Winery
Jason quickly switched on the boom box to Herb Albert and the Tijuana Brass, the spell was broken. And though a few disregarded the advice regarding false pretenders, still most of the crew did at last arrive at the fabled land of the Golden Fleece, Cameron Winery. If the previous trials made them pale, these were nothing compared to what the Argonauts now faced. As they drove into the sacred parking lot and prepared to exit the Argos, two men (at least) appeared as if from nowhere, William Wallace-like, brandishing swords and shillelaghs, cudgels and halberds, wild of hair and eyes, screaming and howling and hurling epithets like “Bugger off!” and “Eeeeyyyaarrghgh.”

O Pinot! Cameron WineryThey descended upon the Argonauts, a fiery, foul juggernaut of filth and fury, death and dismay. Mortal dread clutched the very hearts of the intrepid adventurers, cold sweat exploding from their foreheads and not a few soiling their pants as they jammed their vessel in reverse, blazing like hellcats out the gate. They parked at the bottom of the driveway where they could contemplate their frail existence.

O Pinot! Cameron WineryAt this point, when the Argonauts were completely disheartened, there appeared a sorceress, Media, possessor of magic and charms, calmly driving up in her own SUV with an eye on the young Jason. Media knew the way around the wild men of Cameron and agreed to help the Argonauts in their quest for the Golden Fleece. At first sight of the kilt-clad harbingers of doom, the crew hid behind the unscathable Media. She did not quaver, shake or flutter but calmly launched into an unwavering discourse on the wines of Sardinia followed immediately by a dialogue on the ancestry of Rioja grape varieties. The belligerents were at first sullen, then bored and finally completely and unalterably reduced to a somnolent state. The Argonauts simply stepped over them and proceeded on through the front door.

O Pinot! Cameron WineryBefore they could claim their prize, however, Media needed to work her magic once more. A ferocious, ill-tempered beast lay between the men and their coveted trophy. Media launched into a monotonous oration on Bordelaise vintages of the last thirty years. The cantankerous brute was no match for the soporific dialogue set before it, and passed out cold.

Screaming Ego from Cameron WineryThe Argonauts pooled their resources for the remuneration and the Golden Fleece was theirs!



1999 Screaming Ego: A very limited offering from the best barrel of wine in Cameron’s cellar. Imagine your friends’ response when you announce that you are about to uncork your Screaming Ego!


Soft and velvety, requiring an outlay of cash but worth the price.

1999 Abbey Ridge Pinot noir: Perhaps the best bottling of this vineyard designate in the 20-year history of Abbey Ridge. This is a stunning wine with age-worthiness galore.

1999 Clos Electrique Rouge: The biggest, most full-bodied wine of the vintage (as usual), this offering of Clos Electrique delivers everything that one would expect from this vineyard. It is so age-worthy that drinking it now would have to be considered infanticide.

1999 Abbey Ridge Chardonnay: Francois Jobard knows what he’s doing so we’ve incorporated some of his ideas into this wine: Fermented in older barrels and left undisturbed on the yeast lees for nearly two years before racking and bottling without filtration. If you love White Burgundy, you owe it to yourself to try this wine.

1999 Clos Electrique Blanc: This vintage of the blanc will rival the 1996 and may even surpass it: Vibrant, mouth-filling and with tremendous aging potential (and very, very limited).


Less expensive but quite durable and easily substituting for the “real thing” on a Wednesday night!

1999 Arley’s Leap Pinot noir: Fabled Clos Electrique clones planted at Abbey Ridge in 1990 and still too young to be included in the “Abbey Ridge” bottling but possessing incredible depth and aroma in its own right.

1999 Croft Pinot noir: A well-known vineyard closer to the Coast Range producing wines with bright black cherry aromas and sturdy middle palates.

2000 Cameroni Giuliano: Northern Italian-style Chardonnay blended with 15% Auxerrois and 5% Pinot bianco: A very flavorful and aromatically complex white wine. Polyester price but Italian silk feel!

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

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