Hailing from upstate New York, Tyson’s interest in wine was first piqued by an impromptu weekend trip to the Fingerlakes. During this trip, he popped into a winery for a tasting and found himself as intrigued by the production process as the wines themselves. After graduating from Syracuse University with a degree in Operations Management, Tyson blazed a trail to the West Coast. Eager to work in the wine industry, he sent out resumes to a dozen or so wineries in the Willamette Valley. A few phone calls later Tyson landed a job as a cellar hand under winemaker Rob Stuart at Erath.
It was 1995 and Erath was one of the first Oregon wines to be distributed both nationally and internationally. While the work wasn’t glamorous (note: winemaking = cleaning), Tyson loved it. Harvests soon found him zipping around on a fork-lift taking extra care not to run over the eager young interns under his charge as cellar master. Over the course of seven vintages, Tyson absorbed the principles of producing wines under the conditions of Oregon’s unique terroir and set out for a different region.
Tyson arrived in New Zealand at Framingham in 2002 and and worked a Southern Hemisphere vintage. He then returned to Oregon to work double duty alongside his friends Doug Tunell at Brickhouse and Jim Prosser at J.K. Carriere. Tyson was inspired by Doug’s passion for expression and dedication to the land and Jim’s commitment to details and go it alone grit and took those lessons with him to a position at Archery Summit.
Eventually, Tyson landed with Cameron Winery where he worked alongside John Paul as the assistant winemaker for five years. At Cameron Tyson marked the seasons by the work; pruning and bottling in the winter, shoot thinning and labeling in the spring, leaf pulling in the summer and harvesting in the fall.
In 2005 Tyson made his first four barrels of Entre Nous Pinot Noir at Cameron. In 2006 he added two more barrels to his program. Finally in 2007, Tyson forged out on his own and moved Crowley Wines’ production to the August Cellars studio where he continues to make the wines today (85 barrels and counting).