In 1998 Deborah Paskus was already a very respected wine maker in Ontario; when she and partners decide to build a winery to craft world class wines in a yet unproven area. The Prince Edward Country was of yet an unproven wine region in Ontario. In 2002 a
Century-old dairy barn is renovated to house current tasting bar and processing area. In 2003 Closson Chase first harvest.
In 2007 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 remodelled it to house vineyard workers.
Closson Chase wines are showcased in London, England and receive international recognition at the Seriously Cool Chardonnay Event 2010
Closson Chase goes global in 2012. 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.
In 2015 Deborah retired as the winemaker.
Viticulturalist and iconoclast Deborah Paskus is one of Canada's most celebrated winemakers. Deborah uses innovative viticultural techniques; she is devoted to dirt – rich, pesticide-free and pure as possible .
Paskus graduated from the University of Guelph with an honours degree in Agriculture (Horticulture major). She was quick to develop ideas of her own, refusing to be limited by accepted boundaries.
In 1997 Deborah was ready for a new challenge. With 17 years of growing experience in Beamsville, she suspected that Hillier offered the best possible Ontario site for growing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Closson Chase was created, the following year. There she developed the Closson Chase mantra: High density planting (to ensure flavour and intensity) and crop reduction at veraison (to allow the vine to concentrate on ripening a smaller amount of fruit).
Deborah Paskus received the inaugural Larry Paterson Award, on Friday night, June 10, at the 2011 annual Ontario Wine Awards . The award, named in Honor of the man many knew as The Little Fat Wino and given out by a committee formed by the Grape Growers of Ontario , rewards the efforts of a person who has demonstrated innovation in the vineyards.
Instigator of rigorous growing practices that gave birth to the famed Temkin-Paskus chardonnay in the 1990s, and as one of the earliest people to plant grapes in Prince Edward County, Deborah Paskus has certainly demonstrated a remarkable spirit of innovation in the world of Ontario wine, and a willingness to do things her own way, even when most pointed in other directions.
Moray Tawse founder of the famous Tawse estate winery says it was a wine Temkin-Paskus Chardonnay, that convinced him that world class wines can be made in Ontario. He hired Deborah Paskus to be his original winemaker.
Paskus’s importance to Prince Edward County – or PEC, as it’s called – cannot be understated. PEC pioneer Geoff Heinrich’s (Keint-He) says: “Sure, I may have been one of the first here, but it wasn’t until Deborah came that the industry started to take notice.”