Keith Tyers grew up in Kingston, where he developed a keen interest in wine and food.
A move to Toronto fuelled his passion for wine and led him to take the International Sommelier Guild program at Humber College.
After a few years as part of the big city restaurant scene, Keith decided he wanted to be closer to home and enjoy a quieter lifestyle.
His journey took him to Prince Edward County where he settled on Closson Road with his wife Cassandra to raise their young family.
When did you arrive at Closson Chase?
I started as a vineyard hand in 2003, soon after my arrival in the County. The following year I was promoted to Assistant Winemaker under Deborah Paskus – a position I worked in until 2009. I took a brief leave from Closson Chase from 2010 –2012; a two-year period in which I worked as a consultant in the wine industry. I returned to Closson Chase in 2012, first as the Retail Manager then as the sales agent for out of province sales.
What is your winemaking philosophy?
I want to capture what Mother Nature grows in a bottle. In other words, I want to use what grows above the ground to showcase what happens in the ground. I will use the techniques that I learned from Deborah and incorporate the other knowledge I have gained to make the best expression of the local terroir that I can. I’ve always wanted to be a teacher of wine. It is a serious occupation for me.
What is your favorite grape?
Pinot is my passion. I fell in love with Pinot Noir after I had the opportunity to try a 1994 Romaine St Vivant DRC. At first it was nice, but 30 seconds later it was and still is unforgettable. It set the standard by which all other pinots would be measured.
What is your goal as a winemaker?
I want to create special moments where people can come together and enjoy what we’ve created.
What are your plans for the vineyard in the upcoming season?
We had great success with the Pendlebogen method last year (2014), so this year I want to expand it to the rest of the vineyard across both varietals. I am committed to sustainable and organic practices and maintaining low yields (around 2 tonnes / acre).
What is your vision for Closson Chase?
I want to make Closson Chase wines even better by surpassing the high level of excellence that this winery stands for. Our wines will still be barrel fermented and barrel aged and I have a strong commitment to stewardship of the land.
Good wine + good food + good friends = GOOD TIME