Wine was made commercially in Prince Edward County as early as the 1860s. In 1864, an advertisement in a Toronto magazine announced that J.H. Morden and Son were “manufacturing a pure grape wine from Grapes grown on their own premises.” It was described as “Superior for Medicinal Purposes to the adulterated and drugged mixtures daily exposed for sale… highly recommended by the best judges in Canada… very suitable for sacramental purposes.” *
At the 1876 Philadelphia Exposition, a County winery won the Blue Ribbon for its wines. But the County voted to go “dry” during Prohibition in Ontario (1916-27) and the focus on winemaking was lost. Prince Edward County became an important fruit and vegetable-growing region. Until in the 1990’s when a group of intrepid wine industry pioneers rediscovered the region.
After two years spent analyzing County soils, Deborah Paskus settled upon Hillier Township, as the ideal location for her dream vineyard — south sloping at six degrees, good drainage, gravelly soil on a limestone base, approximately five kilometres inshore — land that was once the Closson family farm, early settlers to the County. Now the dream could take flight.
Deborah Paskus and partners decide to build a winery to craft world class wines in a yet unproven area.
Exploratory single acre is hand-planted from which it is determined how to exploit the peculiarities of grape growing in the County.
Century-old dairy barn is renovated to house current tasting bar and processing area.
First grapes are harvested but yields are of no real commercial value.
First estate vintage released with a total production of 10 cases.
The North Field is machine planted in under a week, a process that had taken seven years to complete by hand in the South Field.
The Ridge, a state of the art gravity-fed processing facility and barrel cellars, is constructed under the guidance of structural engineer Ernie Margetson using sustainable technology — a true testament to management’s long term commitment to environmentally friendly production techniques.
The beautiful wooden church at Hillier built circa 1840 was struck by lighting 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.
Closson Chase wines are showcased in London, England and receive international recognition at the Seriously Cool Chardonnay Event.
The church roof, a custom design by Helga Boelen, in style of the ‘Hospices de Beaune’ in Burgundy, is completed in asphalt shingles by A. Anthony Roofing of Consecon, ON.
Our wines are featured at the Seriously Cool Chardonnay tasting, held in Midtown Manhattan.
Closson Chase goes 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.
Keith Tyers appointed Closson Chase’s new winemaker in a year when a late spring frost reduced the crop by more than half.
The Ridge Vineyard planted – 5 acres Pinot Gris
2 new wines released: 2015 Closson Chase KJ Watson Pinot Gris VQA Four Mile Creek; Non-vintage Mosaic Sparkling Wine
* Rod Phillips, https://www.rodphillipsonwine.com/blog/prince-edward-county. January 26, 2017