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Closson Chase Vineyards
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 European traditions and innovative techniques to create world-class wines from only the finest Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Gris grapes.
An early advocate for sustainable practices, Closson Chase crafts fine wines that reflect each individual vintage, capturing the distinct qualities imparted by the soil and climatic variations of the year.
Winemaker Keith Tyers
Keith Tyers grew up in Kingston, Ontario where he developed a keen interest in wine and food. A move to Toronto further fueled his passion for wine and led him to take the International Sommelier Guild program at Humber College. After a few years in the big city restaurant scene, Keith decided he wanted to be closer to home and enjoy a quieter lifestyle. His journey brought him to Closson Road in Prince Edward County, where he settled with his wife Cassandra to raise their young family.
Soon after his arrival in the County, Keith began his winemaking career as a vineyard hand at Closson Chase in 2003. This quickly led to a position as Assistant Winemaker, where he worked under Head Winemaker Deborah Paskus until 2009.
Keith stepped away from Closson Chase for a few years to grow his winemaking knowledge. He embraced the opportunity to work alongside Ron Sparanzini at Oak Heights Winery in Warkworth, while also consulting for other grape growers in Prince Edward County.
With a desire to return home and work among friends, Keith rejoined the team at Closson Chase in 2012 and was promoted to Head Winemaker in 2015. His time working in the fields led to a deep understanding of the soils and climates that make up the Closson Chase estate vineyards, and this understanding has allowed him to create wines that truly reflect a sense of place.
Keith has continued the Closson Chase tradition of excellence in Chardonnay while also following his passion for producing exceptional Pinot Noir. His philosophy is to capture what Mother Nature grows in a bottle, creating the best possible expression of terroir.
Until the 1990s Prince Edward County was best known as an important fruit and vegetable-growing region. Closson Chase was just a bold idea when a group of intrepid wine industry pioneers rediscovered the region.
After two years spent analyzing County soils, celebrated winemaker Deborah Paskus settled on a plot of land at the intersection of Closson and Chase Roads in Hillier Township. She fell in love with an old dairy farm owned by early Prince Edward County settlers, the Clossons. The site, approximately five kilometres 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 chardonnay and the perfect location for her dream vineyard.
In 1998, Deborah and partners started to build a winery to craft world-class wines. The first vines were planted just one year later in 1999. 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 Keith Tyers took the lead as Head Winemaker, moving the winery in a new and exciting direction with a focus on careful cultivation of the land. Firmly believing the crucial work is done in the vineyard to produce exceptional wine, Keith has carried on the traditions of high-density planting, careful canopy management, and low yields. It is Keith’s philosophy that quality fruit will create the purest expression of place.
In Keith's Words
"I want to capture what Mother Nature grows in a bottle."
"My hope is that when someone opens a bottle of Closson Chase wine, they enjoy the uniqueness of the wine and my interpretation of our place."
"Grape growing and winemaking are my passions. I want to capture that summer in a bottle so in 5 years people can open the bottle and say ‘I remember that summer, Joe got married, or our child was born that year, and this is that year in a glass.’ Wine is a reflection of time, place and vision.”
"Wine is part of life, it reminds us of the past as we enjoy the present and think about the future. I am open to new ideas, new ways of doing things, and ultimately putting the summer in a glass for other wine lovers to enjoy. I hope others take as much pleasure in drinking our wines as we have in making them."
1998 - THE BEGINNING - Deborah Paskus and partners decide to build a winery to craft world-class wines in a yet unproven area.
1999 - FIRST VINES PLANTED - Exploratory single acre is hand-planted, from which it is determined how to approach the peculiarities of grape growing in the County.
2002 - BARN RESTORED - Century-old dairy barn is renovated to house the winery.
2003 - FIRST HARVEST - First grapes are harvested but yields are of no real commercial value.
2004 - FIRST ESTATE VINTAGE - First estate vintage release with a total production of 10 cases.
2006 - CHURCHSIDE PLANTED - The Churchside Vineyard is machine planted in under a week, a process that took seven years to complete by hand in the South Clos Vineyard.
2007 - THE RIDGE - The Ridge, a state-of-the-art gravity-fed processing facility and barrel cellar, is constructed under the guidance of structural engineer Ernie Margetson using sustainable technology—a true testament to Closson Chase’s long-term commitment to environmentally friendly production techniques.
2007 - THE CHURCH - The beautiful wooden church at Hillier built circa 1840 was struck by lightning in 1944. The reconstruction took place in 1947 and the new building served the community until 1969. Closson Chase acquired the structure, moved it to its current location, and remodeled it to house vineyard workers.
2010 - INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION - Closson Chase wines are showcased in London, England and receive international recognition. The church roof, a custom design by Helga Boelen, in the style of the ‘Hospices de Beaune’ in Burgundy, is completed in asphalt shingles by A. Anthony Roofing of Consecon, ON.
2011 - MIDTOWN MANHATTAN - Our wines are featured at the Seriously Cool Chardonnay tasting, held in Midtown Manhattan.
2012 - CLOSSON CHASE GOES GLOBAL - The passing of Bill C-311 opens the possibility of shipping wine to individual buyers across Canada. Heavenly Vines in Japan begins to stock our wine.
2015 - NEW WINEMAKER - Keith Tyers is appointed Closson Chase’s Head Winemaker in a challenging year when a late spring frost reduced the crop by more than half.
2016 - THE RIDGE VINEYARD - 5-acres of Pinot Gris are planted at the new Ridge Vineyard site. Two new wines are also released: 2015Closson Chase K.J. Watson Pinot Gris and Non-vintage Mosaic Sparkling Wine.
2019 - INTERNATIONAL PUBLICATION - Closson Chase receives recognition and accolades in both the New York Times and Wine Spectator, earning 90 points on the first vintage of Grande Cuvée Chardonnay and Grande Cuvée Pinot Noir.