Our longtime winemaker Stewart Cameron is a man of few words—he prefers to let his wines do the talking. But every once in a while we are able to entice him into opening up! Read our fun Q&A below and learn more about what makes this talented winemaker tick
What’s your favorite thing to do outside of work?
Enjoy good food, drink wine, play golf. My wife and I love going wine tasting, discovering different wines and places here in California, and traveling to the world’s great wine regions when we can. I almost forget about that last part because we haven’t been able to travel for so long. We don’t have any trips planned right now, but I’m sure will start looking at possibilities soon.
If you were stranded on a deserted island and had one wine to drink, what would it be?
Does it have to be a particular wine, or can it be a region? Both? Hmmm…It’s a tossup between Chablis and Barolo. As for a specific wine, that’s a tougher question…(pauses for a long minute). Let’s go with Domaine François Ravenau from Chablis.
Are there any interesting books you’ve been reading or podcasts you’re currently listening to?
Most of the stuff that I read is either wine related or Christian authors. I’m still perusing Wine & War, there’s lots of interesting history in that book. But it’s hard to find time to read when you have a little kid running around! (Stewart’s daughter Analeigh is five years old)
What’s your favorite recipe?
There isn’t one in particular, but we like doing different versions of stews and braised meats inspired by different countries. For example, we like Brazilian Feijoada black bean stew with pork and beef, it’s like a hybrid between stew and chili, and the meats are all braised first. We have a local butcher, Arroyo Grande Meat Company, that has great selection of unorthodox meats you can’t always find elsewhere. We’re always game to try a new hearty meat dish.
When and what was your first position in the wine industry—and how do you keep yourself inspired and up to date on current winemaking methods?
My first job—I don’t even know if it had a title, but it was sampling from grape trucks at what was then Meridian Winery. As trucks would come in, I would test for pH and TA.
The being inspired part comes from traveling to other countries and talking with people and seeing how they do things similarly and differently. Learning about different techniques and discussing ideas is inspiring. Discovering a fabulous wine is inspiring as well.
Staying up to date? That’s a constant. It happens from something as simple as perusing WineBusiness.com to talking to other winemakers; attending trade shows; and going to collectives where you get a group of winemakers together with a topic of discussion. Like at World of Pinot Noir, where everyone brings a wine and we go around the table and talk about it, and through conversations you learn things. I’m always learning and seeking out knowledge.