Cameron’s Winery earns best Massachusetts wine

  • Cameron's Winery, located at 105 Main St. in Northfield, produces and serves around 150 varieties of wine and cider.

  • Nine wines from Cameron's Winery won 12 awards in the 2017 Big E Wine Competition, and an additional two ciders won awards in the separate cider competition. Aug. 11, 2017. —Recorder Staff/Shelby Ashline

  • The Paul’s Black Plum variety produced by Cameron's Winery proved to be a triple-winner in the 2017 Big E Wine Competition, earning best Massachusetts wine, best fruit wine and a gold medal. Aug. 11, 2017. —Recorder Staff/Shelby Ashline

  • The Blueberry variety produced by Cameron's Winery proved to be the best Massachusetts grown wine in the 2017 Big E Wine Competition, while also earning a gold medal. Aug. 11, 2017. —Recorder Staff/Shelby Ashline

Recorder Staff
Published: 8/12/2017 3:24:17 PM

NORTHFIELD — If the 2017 Big E Wine Competition is any indication, wine isn’t the only thing that improves with time. Entering for the fourth year, Cameron’s Winery earned its personal best of 12 awards, including best Massachusetts wine.

Leslie Cameron, who owns Cameron’s Winery with her husband Paul, said the series of medals arrived on Friday, following judging based on the wines’ color, clarity, aroma, taste and the judges’ overall impressions in June.

Chocolate Dipped Blueberry, Hadley Acre Farm, Lime in the Coconut, Lime Lemon and Chocolate Dipped Blackberry wine varieties all won silver medals; Marquette and Chardonel Concord varieties won bronze medals; and Paul’s Black Plum and Blueberry varieties won gold medals.

But that’s not all. Paul’s Black Plum proved to be a triple-winner, earning best Massachusetts wine and best fruit wine. Additionally, the Blueberry variety proved to be the best Massachusetts grown wine.

Leslie Cameron said she was delighted by the news.

“We worked very, very hard on those wines,” she said. “So we are very, very happy.”

“We’ve been fighting over who’s going to check the mailbox everyday,” Paul Cameron said, describing the much-anticipated arrival of the medals. Until Friday that is, when Leslie urged him to come to the winery, fibbing that the track lighting had fallen down, only to surprise him with a display of the award-winning wines.

After earning a bronze medal in 2013 through the Indy International Wine Competition, the Camerons started entering competitions regularly. Through the Big E Wine Competition, they earned six bronze and silver medals in 2014, eight in 2015 and five last year, but Leslie Cameron said 2017 marks a record year in many ways.

Cameron’s Winery had never entered so many wines, she said, nor had it entered its grape varieties. She said 12 wines were entered, with nine of them earning the 12 awards. It was also the winery’s first time earning a gold medal.

As Leslie and Paul Cameron are the winery’s only employees, without consultants or designated wine makers, Leslie Cameron said the achievement feels all the greater. The two process all the wine themselves, and very often pick their own fruit.

“I know the intimate details of a lime like nobody does,” Leslie Cameron said. “My husband and I, we know our fruit.”

Though the Camerons get their citrus fruit from Florida and Mexico, the majority of their wines involve local products, she said. Among the award winners, the Marquette variety used grapes from Cold Spring Orchard in Belchertown; the Chardonel Concord variety used grapes from Beverly and Brad Brewer of Winchester, N.H.; the Hadley Acre Farm variety used cucumbers from Chad and Nathan Adams’ Hadley Acre Farm; the Blueberry and Chocolate Dipped Blueberry varieties used blueberries from Sobieski’s River Valley Farm in Whately; and the Chocolate Dipped Blackberry variety used blackberries from the Cameron’s own backyard in Bernardston.

Since late January, however, Cameron’s Winery has also offered an extensive collection of ciders. The Big E, the Camerons found, has a separate competition just for ciders and the couple submitted two entries.

The Blueberry Cider and Blackberry Cider varieties — which are also made using Sobieski blueberries and the Camerons’ blackberries, respectively — both garnered bronze medals. Pine Hill Orchard in Colrain supplied the apples.

Leslie Cameron said she and Paul will sell their prize-winning wines at the Big E’s wine and cheese barn throughout the fair from Sept. 15 to Oct. 1.

Reach Shelby Ashline at:

413-772-0261 ext. 257


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