Craig Camp, General Manager at Troon Vineyard, and I have known each other for a few years. I met Craig at the annual wine blogger’s conference held in Portland, Oregon when he shared a memorable portfolio of wines produced at the Napa Valley winery where he was General Manager. Craig’s goal was to produce great wines that expressed the nuances of the terroir from which the grapes were grown…he was incredibly successful and met that goal year after year. This spring, boasting an accomplished resume, he moved on…to Troon Vineyard in the Applegate Valley region of southern Oregon. Craig is now General Manager and they are fortunate, indeed.
We want the character of our vineyards and the Applegate Valley to define our wines, not winemaking tricks or additives. At Troon you’ll find wine from varieties selected by our vineyards, not market research. Craig Camp, General Manager, Troon Vineyard
It’s a pleasure to announce that legendary Craig Camp will be featured on the weekly #winestudio Twitter chat hosted by the seasoned wine expert Tina Morey. And you are invited to this entertaining and interactive program to “meet” Craig!
Each Tuesday, November 15, 22, and 29 from 9pm – 10pm EST, Craig and Tina will engage in a lively conversation with participants who use the hashtag #winestudio. Expect Craig to share his thoughts about growing wine grapes in the Applegate Valley, what makes this region so similar to Beaujolais and Sardegna, why he relishes in the opportunity to be a “pioneer in an emerging AVA”, and much much more.
I had been following Craig for some time and when he made the move to Oregon to work for a relatively unknown winery called Troon I knew it was kismet to have him on #winestudio. I had been aware of Troon for many years – a small portfolio in Virginia carried them! Once Craig joined the team however, Troon become known within the broader wine world. His recent article “Leaving Forward” says it all about who he is: “I want to feel the electricity that only comes from being on the edge looking down into the unknown. I want to make a difference and I have decided to make a difference in the Applegate Valley of Southern Oregon.” Tina Morey, Host, #winestudio
As a prelude to #winestudio, following are reviews of five noteworthy wines from Troon Vineyard, all of which were sent to me as samples. Although only the first three will be discussed during the chat, the others are worth discovering, too. You may want to find these wines in your local wine shop, if possible, or contact Troon Vineyard (here) for a few bottles.
Vermentino is one of my favorite white wines and Troon Vineyard delivers. Notes of bright citrus, lemon, honey, and almonds were refreshing on the nose…was I sipping a wine from Oregon or Sardegna? Dry with lively acidity, elements of tropical fruit, green apple, and beeswax helped create a white wine with more complexity and depth than I usually taste. Well done, Troon Vineyard! Cost is $29.
From the Rogue Valley in Southern Oregon, this lip smacking Sangiovese, co-fermented with Syrah, was exceptional. Mesmerizing aromas of sweet cherries, spice, and freshly picked basil led to rich notes of chocolate, toasted almonds, and red fruits lifted with gentle tannins and food friendly acidity. Pair this Sangiovese with your favorite pasta dish, burgers still sizzling from the grill, herb roasted vegetables…and more. Cost is $29.
What a treat to open this blend of Malbec and Tannat. Aromas of exotic spice, purple florals, rich, blackberry jam, chocolate, and roast coffee beans wafted from the glass. On the palate were rounded notes of forest floor, green pepper, and ripe peach in harmony with satin-like tannins and bright acidity. The tantalizing finish lingered. Consider a juicy steak, meaty stew laden with vegetables, or a rich, tomato based dish as a delectable complement to the M&T. Cost is $50.
More extraordinary finds include:
I was completely taken aback with this Zinfandel. Not your parents’ swarthy zin, this fresh, bright wine from the Applegate Valley in Southern Oregon was one that I couldn’t get enough of…really, I had help, but the bottle was empty by the end of the night. Drifting from the glass were aromas of black cherries, orange peel, purple flowers, and sweet spice. That first sip was an unexpected delight with deliriously brilliant flavors of ripe cranberries, milk chocolate, nutmeg, and spice lifted with mouthwatering acidity, firm tannins, and a lively, spice-filled finish. Cost is $20.
This lovely Malbec is the reason wine lovers should think out of the box (and country of Argentina) and pour a glass of Malbec from Oregon’s Troon Vineyard. Intense aromas of cherries, prunes, plums and raspberries leapt from the glass and I craved my first sip. Tangy and spicy, I found more juicy and rich red fruit and bacon, firm tannins, and food friendly acidity. The aromas were powerful, yet each sip was sleek and polished…all leading to a finish that persevered. Cost is $29.
You may have tasted Tannat from the southwest of France or Uruguay, where it’s the official national grape, but not from Oregon. Now this is your chance. This fascinating wine, dark plum in color, boasted aromas of spice, deep red and purple fruit, and a hint of green paper. After I let the Tannat breathe for thirty minutes, I discovered exotic spice, dark and juicy cherries, wild berries, hint of bacon, and earthy notes on the palate. Well defined tannins and medium acidity helped provide the balance and complexity in this structured wine that would be perfect to sip while gazing at a crackling fire. Cost is $29.
Cheers to Craig Camp, Troon Vineyard and #winestudio! ~ Cindy