I’d like to introduce you to Camino Cellars, where you will find some of the best Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon made in California. Total production for the three wines is around 300 cases, and the prices, compared to its peers, is extremely fair. Frankly, it’s a wonder the Camino wines don’t sell out upon release. Why don’t they? Because wine doesn’t sell itself, and owner/winemaker Tadeo Borchardt only has so much time.
This ain’t no pitty party for Tadeo. His day job is winemaker for Neyers Vineyards in Napa Valley, where he makes consistently outstanding wines and many of them (I’ve yet to have a Neyers wine I would not recommend). Thoughtful, intelligent, good-looking and seemingly at peace with himself, Tadeo has a good thing going all around. Family, job he loves and a tiny winery of his own.
And he’s busy. Raising two kids while handling all the responsibilities that come as winemaker at Neyers is more than enough to fill a day. Making and operating Camino Cellars is fueled by his skill and passion for making great wine. I’m a little bit excited to connect wine lovers with Tadeo Borchardt and his Camino wines.
I describe the Camino style as strong in flavors both fruity and savory. They are big and mouth-filling while simultaneously showing appropriate restraint. I love the Camino wines, every one, every vintage so far. I don’t see this changing.
I describe the Camino style as strong in flavors both fruity and savory. The Camino Cabernet Sauvignon “Montecillo Vineyard” from Sonoma’s Moon Mountain District, for example, is blackberry/blueberry/black currant AND cedar, bay leaf and cigar box.
All the Camino wines are big and mouth-filling while simultaneously showing appropriate restraint. I love the Camino wines, every one, every vintage, so far. I don’t see this changing.
In addition to the Cabernet Sauvignon, Tadeo also makes a rich and racy Chardonnay from Santa Lucia Highlands and a Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir brimming with wild cherry, blood orange, blue plum and wild rose sensations (aromatherapy in a wine bottle). Read my Camino wine offers for a full description.
The Cab is the priciest wine at $60 for the 2015 – these are very good to great values by world-class California wine standards. To beat the micro-production drum again: 3 wines, roughly 300 cases made combined.
3 questions for Tadeo Borchardt:
Your favorite home-cooked meal? A crackly-skinned roast chicken is tough to beat. The best pieces are the bites I sneak as I’m carving. Though just as heart warming, even more so at the same meal, is summer tomatoes sliced on grilled bread with crunchy Maldon sea salt and piquant olive oil – a slice or two of almost translucent jamon serrano on it puts the exclamation point on.
Mountains or Ocean and why? Ocean. The feel of the sand and then the water has a visceral reaction. It radiates through your body. There’s a calm, an ease, and healing even when waves are thundering.
Tell us something interesting about terroir, clones, yeast or cork. Throughout my many visits with vignerons and farmers during my travels in France and Italy massale selection, or some form of it, continued to come up in hearty conversation. There is true emotion in not using clones and using cuttings from their family’s or friends’ vineyards. Using selections is part of their culture. This running theme was ever present during my time with my most cherished wine visits. I brought that experience home and started to ask the question of selections and how they play with vineyards and the resulting wine. Whenever possible I work with selections instead of clones. It’s my experience selections have a more diverse expression of the grape variety, vineyard, and wine.