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Meet our team at Coyote's Run

Our Winemaking Team

David Sheppard, Winemaker/General Manager

Dave has been making top-notch wine for 30 years. He got his start in 1980 in a small, family-run winery in the Mittlerhein region of Germany, but soon moved over to an upstart Canadian winery named Inniskillin Wines. After 21 years there, he made the big jump to help found Coyote's Run, a smaller winery that allows him to fully exercise his wine-making talents. A big fan of Burgundian and Alsatian wines, Dave focuses on making wines that are complex yet elegant, full-flavored yet balanced. He prefers wines that are approachable and fruit-driven, with soft ripe tannins, yet always showing true varietal character. Outside of the winery, Dave is a devoted husband to his wife Christina, a father of two beautiful young ladies (Britt and Andrea), and a diehard Leafs fan.

Chris Protonentis, Assistant Winemaker

Chris started in the wine industry in 2005, but his dream of working in winemaking was born in high school when his chemistry teacher told him about the Niagara College program. After graduating high school he started working at Peller as a wine consultant where he worked for many years and built his wine knowledge with wine appreciation courses. In 2008 he followed his dreams and enrolled in the Winery and Viticulture program where he worked in the teaching winery earning hands on experience. After graduating he took an opportunity to work for one of the mobile bottling lines and had the pleasure of bottling wines for wineries from here all the way to Quebec. During this time he travelled to Western Australia to work 'crush' at Houghton’s Winery. Chris has worked in all areas of winemaking from harvesting, cellar work, winemaking, lab work, bottling and retail. Chris is so excited to be a part of the Coyote's Run team working with Dave Sheppard and the rest of the crew. 

Ed Tonner, Vineyard Manager

Ed is a graduate of the Winery and Viticulture program at Niagara College. His love for wine has evolved as he traveled and lived around the world, from Guelph to Spain, Key West, British Columbia, and now his home in Niagara. Following his Grandfather's footsteps from the fields of County Kerry, Ireland, Ed has found his niche as one of the homegrown viticulturists here in Niagara. Ed has worked in prominent vineyards throughout the Niagara Region including Cave Springs and Hidden Bench, before he put down roots into the diverse soil makeup of Coyote's Run. Ed enjoys the challenges of precision viticulture in the cool climate of Niagara. Outside the winery Ed can be found taking in all of what Niagara has to offer with his wife Crystal and vineyard pup Sanjo.

'Dougie',Vineyard Lead Hand

Linford Hall a.k.a. “Dougie” has been helping to grow quality grapes in the Niagara region since 1979. He has been our vineyard lead hand and number one tractor driver since the summer of 2012. No one knows this unique climate quite like him. Regardless of the weather he can be found outside working hard to maintain a productive and clean vineyard. From pruning to harvesting, spraying and cultivating, Linford keeps a constant eye on the health of our vines.

Our Retail Team

Cari-Beth Bernard, Marketing and Events Manager

Cari-Beth has been a part of our team for four years working in the retail boutique as well as managing the wine club. With more than 9 years experience in Niagara's wine industry, and a graduate of the Tourism Management Business Development program she is excited to plan and execute the events, marketing and wine club at the winery and off-site. She has a passion for food and wine and you will always find her talking about what she had for dinner the night before. She is a mom to her beautiful daughter Charlotte and a loving partner to her 'better half' Dan.

Carrie Milne, Operations Administrator

Carrie has an extensive background in customer service and with 10 years of experience working harvest at Vincor, inspecting incoming grapes and performing lab tests; Carrie has gained the knowledge required to appreciate and sell wine. With four years working at Wine Rack under her belt and a course in Winery Retail at Niagara College, she has developed a well-rounded familiarity of the wine industry and gained a flair for flavour, with her favourite wine being our 2010 Rare Vintage Syrah (at the moment!).

If you stop by on the weekends you may get the opportunity to meet Emma, Kyle, Victoria, or Thomas.

Our Sales Team

James Gaade

James is our sales rep in the Niagara, Hamilton, Burlington, Oakville, KW & London areas.  James has been a star in the Niagara wine business for over 15yrs, and outside the winery is a gourmet cook and an avid skier.

Lindsay Hildebrand

Lindsay is our man on the road in Toronto . He grew up on a farm down the dirt road from the winery where his interest in Niagara wine was nourished. Spending many years in the Niagara hospitality trade he took his Sommelier creditation to Australia working in the Barossa Valley. After 13 years in Western Canada selling wine and gaining his WSET Diploma, he is back home ready to share Coyote's Run wines with anyone who will listen and even those who don't. Outside of wine he is kept busy with a young son and daughter enjoying the outdoors always looking for that next trout stream.