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).
Steven Trussler, assistant winemaker
Steve is a graduate of the Oenology and Viticulture program at Brock University. He completed his undergraduate degree in Bioscience, with a focus on microbiology, from the University of Guelph. Guelph's agricultural influence and Steve's love for wine (and all things fermented) is what propelled him to study winemaking in Niagara. Steven's passion for terroir was first sparked by his viticulture experience at L'Acadie Vineyards in Nova Scotia. He was impressed by the vineyard's focus on Regionalism and their dedication to terroir. They planted the grapes that thrived there and the wines created were completely different than what the rest of the world was producing - it really drove home a sense of place in each sip.
Jeff Smith, assistant winemaker
Jeff finished his degree in Food Science from the University of Guelph and quickly joined the burgeoning brewing industry found in that part of the province. As Assistant Head Brewer at Wellington Brewery, Jeff was a part of an award winning team producing some of the best beers in Southern Ontario. The next step in his career flowed smoothly and logically from his experience with fermentations. After finishing a programme of study at Brock University, Jeff's transition from barley to grapes, from beer to wine, was cemented with winemaking and viticultural experiences in Australia, the Okanagan and more recently back here in the Niagara region.
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.
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'.
Vera Berezuk, accounting and office administration
Vera is a proud Niagara native who has been busy over the years raising a family and running the office at various wineries in the region. Since joining the Coyote's Run team she has kept us organized and our feet planted firmly on the ground. When her bookkeeping duties are finished she is always willing to come to the tank cellar and give the production team a hand in any wine tasting work they have to do.
Becky Solymar, marketing and events coordinator
Becky is the newest member of our Coyote's Run team and a graduate of the Tourism and Environment program at Brock University. With a strong passion for the outdoors, good food and drink, and travel, she is enjoying the opportunity to blend her interests, experience and enthusiasm into new opportunities to promote and market our wines. As our Marketing and Events Coordinator here at Coyote's Run, her new found and growing knowledge and appreciation of wine makes her a great addition to our staff!
Our Retail team
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 2009 Syrah (at the moment!).
Sharon is a lifelong resident of Niagara Falls with years of experience in retail management and customer service. She spent her last 20 years as a Vincor employee, managing two Wine Rack stores in the Niagara area; during this time she obtained her Wine Council of Ontario Certificate. Here at Coyote's Run she currently enjoys the atmosphere of a smaller winery and her experience and wine knowledge is truly as asset to the team! On her spare time, Sharon enjoys camping, playing on the computer, gardening and of course, enjoying a nice glass of wine!
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 :)
Recently back to the Niagara region, James is our sales rep in the Niagara, Hamilton, Burlington, Oakville & Cambridge areas. James has been a star in the Niagara wine business for over 10yrs, 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.