"Wine is part of life, it reminds us of the past as we enjoy the present and think about the future."
- Keith Tyers, Winemaker
Born and raised in Kingston, Keith Tyers is a veteran of the food and wine world. Starting from humble beginnings as a teen in fast food service, he soon moved on to fine dining and relocated to Toronto in 1998 to pursue a career in wine. After graduating from the International Sommelier Guild in 2002, Keith left the city and settled in Prince Edward County with his wife Cassandra.
Keith joined the vineyard team at Closson Chase in 2003—the first year the estate vines produced fruit. He came on full-time in 2004 and completed his first official harvest, pressing 100 kg of chardonnay. It was in this first barrel of County chard that he tasted the potential of the region.
The next ten years were spent diligently working the fields, familiarising himself with the unique character of each vineyard, and learning how to make wine in a yet–unproven region. Keith earned the title of Assistant Winemaker in 2012, before moving into the Head Winemaker role in 2015.
Keith has evolved and matured alongside the vineyard, but has kept true to his ethos of capturing what Mother Nature grows in a bottle, creating the truest possible expression of terroir.
Established In 1998
Closson Chase is a quality-driven winery that helped spearhead the birth of the Prince Edward County wine industry. Winemaker Keith Tyers uses centuries-old techniques and sustainable practices to create world-class wines from the highest quality pinot noir, chardonnay, and pinot gris grapes.
An early advocate for sustainability, Closson Chase crafts fine wines that reflect each individual vintage, capturing the distinct qualities imparted by the soil and climatic variations of the year.
Before its current renaissance as a wine and culinary destination, Prince Edward County was best known as an agricultural community. Closson Chase was just a bold idea when a group of intrepid wine industry pioneers rediscovered the region in the 1990s.
After two years spent analyzing County soils, they settled on a plot of land at the intersection of Closson and Chase Roads in Hillier Township. The site, approximately five kilometers inshore from Lake Ontario, had a perfect six-degree southern slope, good drainage, and gravelly calcareous soil on a limestone base—ideal for cool climate wines.
In 1998, Closson Chase Vineyards was born. The first commercial vintage was harvested in 2004, produced out of a century-old dairy barn originally owned by the Closson family and lovingly restored as the new winemaking facility. From then on, Closson Chase has been at the forefront of the Prince Edward County wine industry, producing award-winning chardonnay and pinot noir.
In 2015, founding partner Deborah Paskus retired from her role as winemaker and Keith Tyers took the lead, focusing on pinot noir while continuing the legacy of world-class chardonnay Closson Chase had become known for. Firmly believing that exceptional wine is produced in the vineyard, Keith has carried on the traditions of high-density planting, careful canopy management, and low yields while introducing sustainable practices like cover crop planting and rainwater collection. To further solidify Closson’s position as a leader in sustainability, the winery and estate vineyard was certified by Sustainable Winegrowing Ontario in 2023.
1998 - Closson Chase Vineyards is Founded
A group of friends, including Niagara winemaker Deborah Paskus, decide to craft world-class wines in Prince Edward County, a yet unproven area.
1999 - First Vines Planted
An exploratory acre of chardonnay and pinot noir vines are hand-planted in the South Clos vineyard, from which it is determined how to approach the peculiarities of grape growing in the County. Further plantings of chardonnay and pinot noir are added over the next six years, by hand and eventually by machine.
2002 - Purple Barn Restored
A century-old dairy barn originally owned by the Closson family is renovated to house the original winemaking facility and tasting room. The exterior is painted a pale lavender with streaks of red, a colour palette created by one of the partner’s young daughters.
2003 - First Harvest
The inaugural harvest is too small to produce a significant quantity of wine, but the fruit quality is promising.
2004 - First Estate Vintage
The second harvest yields a total production of 10 cases, the first commercial vintage of Closson Chase Vineyards.
2006 - Churchside Vineyard Established
A historic Hillier church is acquired by Closson Chase and relocated 4 km up the road to its current location. The beautiful wooden structure was built circa 1840, struck by lightning in 1944, then reconstructed in 1947. The building served the community until 1969, and is now repurposed as a residence for seasonal vineyard workers. The site is machine planted in under a week, with an emphasis on pinot noir.
2007 - The Ridge Winemaking Facility
The Ridge, an environmentally sustainable winemaking facility and barrel cellar, is constructed under the guidance of structural engineer Ernie Margetson. A true testament to Closson Chase’s long-standing commitment to sustainability, the building utilizes a gravity-flow system, geothermal technology, and passive solar lighting.
2010 - Church Roof Redesigned
Helga Boelen creates a custom design for the church roof, in the style of Burgundian historic landmark ‘Hospice de Beaune’. The new design is completed in asphalt shingles by A. Anthony Roofing of Consecon, and is now one of the most recognizable architectural landmarks in the area.
2012 - Going Global
The passing of Bill C-311 opens the possibility of shipping wine to individual buyers across Canada, and Heavenly Vines in Japan begins to stock our wine.
2015 - Keith Tyers is Head Winemaker
Keith Tyers is appointed Closson Chase’s new Head Winemaker as Deborah Paskus retires. The barn is updated to its current signature shade of deep purple.
2016 -Ridge Vineyard
The new Ridge Vineyard site is planted with 4½-acres of pinot gris and ½ an acre of chardonnay on a stony outcrop.
2019 - Certified Vegan
Closson Chase receives vegan certification from VegeCert, a third-party certification that verifies no animal by-products are used in the winemaking process.
2023 - Certified Sustainable
Closson Chase receives certification from Sustainable Winegrowing Ontario for all estate-grown wines.
Bring your friends & family
Join us for a tasting in The Garden or a Curated Tasting at The Ridge with our in-house sommelier
We are currently offering seated tastings in our beautiful garden no reservations necessary; walk-ins welcome.
Curated tastings at The Ridge are available by reservation only Friday to Sunday throughout the summer.
“Every year I strive to capture what Mother Nature has given us and share it with you. I think wine should slow us down and help us enjoy what we are eating with the amazing people in our lives. My hope is that you reflect on the vintage and enjoy some sense of place in our busy world.”