Craig Camp of Troon Vineyard

Why Wine? An interview with Craig Camp of Troon Vineyard

Was there a specific wine, moment or place that unlocked your passion?

Craig Camp: I honestly think it was the first real wines I ever tasted and they were both humble wines that never even saw a bottle. I was studying in Austria in 1973 and was taken to a winery outside of Vienna. We sat at picnic tables, ate sausages and consumed way too many carafes of their white wine. When summer break came, I headed to France and my first stop was in Strasbourg. My first meal there at a humble weinstube was washed down with pitchers of Edelzwicker. These two meals and wines changed my life.

What did you study in school and what were you doing before you started in the wine industry?

CC: I studied journalism and photojournalism in college. For three years after graduation I worked for a daily newspaper chain just outside of Chicago. The call of wine was just too strong and I helped found a wine importing and distributing company in late 1979.

How has being in the wine industry changed you?

CC: You cannot help but become more aware of other cultures and understand that the ways of your own culture have their strong and weak points. You become more of a world citizen as you have a bond with winemakers everywhere. It also makes you a better cook. You can’t spend your life around wine and not want to be able to cook.

What’s your favorite part of being in the wine industry?

CC: The food– no wait it’s the people. It’s like no other business I know. The willingness to help each other and share hard times and good times is like no other. I also love working in agriculture. Wineries tend to be in beautiful places.

Looking back, was there something in your past that led you to wine?

CC: Well it was certainly indirectly, but I would say it was my father. He raised both my sister and I to get out in the world and find our own passion. He knew we needed to leave the small town we grew up in and experience the world. Also, I grew up around farms. My uncles and grandparents were dairy farmers. Being out in the county is something that stays in your blood.

Read more about Craig on his wine blog:

And on the Troon Vineyard website: