Meet our team at Coyote's Run
Jeff Aubry, President
One of the founding partners of Coyote's Run, Jeff has followed an interesting path in life. He has been a soldier and a career student; he's ridden the high-tech bubble, and been pink-slipped twice. With no industry experience other than consuming copious amounts of fine wine, Jeff decided to pursue a dream hatched on a wine tour with university buddies: opening his own winery. Though it has been a tremendous amount of work, Jeff is extremely pleased with his decision to get into the business of making high-quality, hand crafted premium wines.
Patti Aubry, Marketing
Patti is the marketing behind Coyote's Run. She started her career in product management at Kraft Foods after completing her MBA but the love of the wine business brought her to Niagara. Much of her role at the winery is behind the scenes, making sure that the packaging, advertising, website and events are all moving along. But she does enjoy a glass (or two) of wine – especially a well made Chardonnay! Outside of the winery, Patti is an avid runner and yogi and a busy mother to two daughters, Holly & Lauren, and of course our four-legged youngest daughter Rosie.
Our Winemaking Team
David Sheppard, Winemaker
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 (much to Jeff's chagrin).
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.
Taylor Hulley, Lead Cellar Hand
Taylor started working at Coyote’s Run on the bottling line in 2010. Since then his passion for wine has helped him move quickly up the ranks to become our lead cellar hand. Taylor can be found in the tank room assisting with the daily operations of wine production. From the vines to the wines he is there every step of the way, making sure that our product maintains a consistently high standard. Taylor may also be found with his guitar at many of the venues around the area, as he is also an accomplished musician who is involved in quite a few Niagara bands. (Many of which have played right here at Coyote`s Run)
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.
Big Al, Professional Taste Tester
You might see him out cutting the lawns, fixing the tractors or plowing the snow in the winter but his true love is helping Dave taste test the new wines. Al comes to us with an extensive background in building maintenance and is now at Coyote's Run ‘enjoying his retirement job'.
Our Retail Team
Cari-Beth Bernard, Marketing and Events Coordinator
Cari-Beth has been a part of our team for three years working in the retail boutique as well as managing the wine club. With more than 8 years experience in Niagara's wine industry, and a graduate of the Tourism Management Business Development program she is excited to take on her new role here. 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, Retail Coordinator
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!).
Kaytlynn Milligan, Retail
Kaytlynn has been within the industry for nearly three years, coming from a previous background of customer service and 4 years of prior serving experience. Relatively new to the team in 2014 and having been living in Niagara for just over five years, Kaytlynn is well-versed in most things wine related as well as the local area, and you’ll always find her with a smile on her face. With a passion for theatre and wine (which more or less go hand-in-hand), Kaytlynn is currently working to finish her combined Bachelor of Arts in Theatre arts and Philosophical studies. All things aside, in her spare time she enjoys playing the piano, or reading a book with a glass of our Coyote’s Run 2011 Sparkling Chardonnay!
If you stop by on the weekends you may get the opportunity to meet Sharon, Crystal, Katie or Jessica.
Our resident coyote...no, not really! If you visit the winery during the week you will likely meet Jeff and Patti's dog Rosie. This Lab/Shepherd cross was rescued from the Lincoln Humane Society in March 2009 and is right at home in the vineyard chasing birds, mice and sticks. If you are travelling with a pet be sure to ask for the four-legged vineyard tour (cats and rabbits not recommended).
Our Sales Team
Dean is our man on the road in Toronto and area. Dean's previous experience was in the spirits industry, but you will now see him at the finer restaurants and LCBO stores bringing Coyote's Run to those in the GTA. A wine lover and dedicated father of a son and a new baby girl, he is a great addition to our team...and yes...Dean has met Bob Barker :)
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.
Our man in the Ottawa region is Roger. A world traveller and wine lover, Roger's second career in the wine industry has been highly successful and we are lucky to have him representing us in our Nation's capital in restaurants and LCBO stores...and his tarte flambee recipe is spectacular as well.
Liz is our newest Sales Representative at Coyote's Run Winery and is a real enthusiast of wines, especially from Ontario. Currently working on completing her International Sommelier Certification, Liz has a passion and real understanding of wine and truly loves promoting and educating those on why they should drink VQA wines. Liz is our "on the road" rep in the east and north end of Toronto bringing our wines to restaurants who really want to showcase Ontario's best products. Liz is so thrilled to be part of such a great team at Coyote's Run.