Cruising the backroads of Prince Edward County

By Helmut Dostal

Unlike early settlers to the county who coveted farmland, the star-studded duo of Sonja Smits and Seaton McLean, came to Prince Edward County looking for the ideal location for their dream vineyard.To me, their now established vineyard, Closson Chase, was the ideal destination for a Saturday morning test drive with a brand new Porsche 911 Carrera 4S, in stunning ‘Aventurine Green Metallic’.

After a spirited run from Toronto, I rolled into what was the old Closson family farm, five kilometres inshore from Lake Ontario. Now known as the Closson Chase vineyards, the land is south sloping at six degrees with good drainage and gravelly soil on a limestone base—just perfect for growing grapes.

Vine friendly

The region’s prevailing southwesterly breezes travel across the Bay of Quinte moderating the temperatures throughout the year and make for viticulture-friendly warm summer months. Mixed with the farm’s Hillier clay loam that sits on a shallow crumbled limestone that drains well, these winds account for Eastern Ontario’s cool climate and Closson Chase’s success in the production of fine Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pino Gris.

I have to say that, on this early Saturday morning, with the sun coming up over the vines, this is a picture perfect scene—only surpassed by my enthusiasm for today’s test car. The Porsche 911 is traditionally the first choice of sports car enthusiasts worldwide and the Carrera 4S proves to be a capable member of the family.

Sustainable production

Speaking of family—the Closson story continues with the tale of Winemaker, Keith Tyers. Tyers moved to Prince Edward County where he settled on Closson Road with his family and began his winemaking career. After holding various local positions, including that of Assistant Wine- maker to Deborah Paskus for several years he took over the reins at Closson Chase in 2015. When asked, he talks about creating the best possible expression of the local terroir and “capturing what Mother Nature grows in a bottle.”

The thrill of the drive

Back in the Porsche, the scenic roads of Prince Edward County offered plenty opportunities to test the multitude of safety and performance features of the Carrera 4S, such as acceleration (3.6 sec. from 0 to 100 km/h), adaptive cruise control and rear axle steering and 4-wheel drive.

Clearly a high performance car, this beauty is as at home, cruising the back roads of Prince Edward County as it is the highway back to Toronto. A great day!

Porsche 911 Carrera 45Technical Specifications

Engine: Twin-turbo 6-cylinder

Power: 443 hp

Acceleration: 0 to 100 km/h 3.6 sec.

Top speed:306 km/h

Transmission: Doppelkupplung (PDK)

Price retail: $137,400

Price as tested: $186,300 

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