Who We Are

Winemaker John Paul coaxes every last drop of Pinot Noir during harvest at Cameron Winery. Photo by Easton Richmond

Winemaker John Paul coaxes every last drop of Pinot Noir during harvest at Cameron Winery.

Cameron winery is dedicated to producing high-quality, hand-crafted and sustainably-farmed libations for the people. A small family operation, we produce 3,000 to 4,000 cases annually.  John Paul, the irrepressible owner and winemaker emeritus, 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.

Winemaker John Paul and his assistant, Guido

Winemaker Tom Sivilli joined the winery in 2011 after working in wineries in both Australia and Oregon. His excellent palate,  deep respect for our vineyards and uncanny ability to keep things going led to his title of winemaker.  Our vineyard manager Phil London hales from the illustrious Mt. Eden Vineyard in California.  Phil is instrumental in moving our vineyard practices to regenerative agriculture.  Joseph Papas brings unbridled energy, enthusiasm and culinary prowess to both the vineyard and cellar.  John’s partner Teri has since day one brought her irresistible sense of humor to the operation as evidenced by our newsletters. Julian Paul is involved in label design and is a continuous source of new products such as spritz rose and cider. Tawny Paul is also intimately involved in the winery’s happenings.  Linus the dog, Vinnie the cat, 12 chickens and a hive of bees round out the team.

For more about the animals and our farming philosophy, please click here.

(Photo of John emptying precious Pinot Noir from a line during harvest (upper right on this page), and of John smiling beatifically on the home page (upper left) courtesy of Easton Richmond.)
From John, January 21st, 2022

Innovation and Inspiration from California

The secret of great Burgundies is the amazing diversity of characteristics, carefully selected by many generations of French winemakers. Over the years, this treasure trove of diversity was brought to California by visionaries such as Paul Masson and Ernest Wente. In 1979, I began my winemaking career at Carneros Creek Winery in the Napa Valley. Here I was introduced to the great wines of Burgundy as well as a 1/2 acre plot of Pinot noir clones from many of the best known Pinot noir vineyards in California. Realizing the amazing bequest that was sitting in front me, I intended then and there to make this a pursuit of my lifetime.

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