Hailing from upstate New York, Tyson’s interest in wine was first piqued by an impromptu weekend trip to the Fingerlakes, New York’s native winemaking region. Tyson popped into a winery to sample the wares and found himself just as interested in the process behind the wines as the wines themselves. After graduating from Syracuse University with a degree in Operations Management Tyson blazed a trail to the West Coast thinking about the wineries of the Fingerlakes and eager to work in the industry. He typed out a dozen or so resumes and sent them to the Willamette Valley, and with a few follow up phone calls later landed a job as a cellar hand under Erath’s then winemaker Rob Stuart.
It was 1995 and Erath was one of the first Oregon wines to be distributed nationally and internationally. And while the work wasn’t glamorous (note: winemaking = cleaning), Tyson loved it and 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 learned the tools and techniques of winemaking while absorbing the principles of producing wines under the conditions of Oregon’s unique terroir.
Tyson then took a trip to New Zealand to work crush at Framingham where he experienced a southern hemisphere harvest then returned back 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 purity of expression and dedication to the land and Jim’s commitment to the details and go it alone grit and took those lessons with him to a position at Archery Summit.
And it was passion for purity and some of that go it alone grit that then led Tyson to Cameron Winery where he worked alongside John Paul as the assistant winemaker. 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. 2006 saw a whopping production of six barrels. And in 2007 after five wonderful vintages working at Cameron, Tyson forged out on his own and moved Crowley Wines’ production to the August Cellars Coop winemaking facility where he continues to make the wines today (85 barrels and counting).