Winery and Vineyard
Join us at our cellar door to taste our excellent wines
Our 65 acre vineyard is planted with 7 varieties; Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot all surrounding our tasting room in the heart of St. David’s. Located at the base of what was formerly the shoreline of the glacial Lake Iroquois, we enjoy one of the warmest sites in the Niagara region. Our farm is made up of two very distinct soil types; we lovingly refer to them as our Red Paw and Black Paw vineyards. Our Red Paw vineyard is an ancient red clay soil from which the wines are typically boldly expressive in varietal character. The Black Paw vineyard being a darker, heavier clay soil retains warmth and moisture while delivering very modest yields. The lower yield per acre is balanced by the intense concentration of flavours in the fruit that it produces. These soils are well defined on our property which has allowed us to keep the identity of each block separate so as to allow each grape variety to express itself in concert with its place of origin. As an estate winery, we are focused on the production of small-batch, handcrafted wines with an emphasis on quality, complexity and balance.
We practice an Integrated Pest Management program and precision viticulture focusing on canopy management in our philosophy of environmentally sustainable viticulture. We use our own grape pomace as mulch to increase the amount of organic material in our soil. Compost is added back to the soil to add nutrients, as well as improve soil structure and overall health. As you walk through our vineyard you will notice we have planted cover crop in every other row comprising of red clover, alfalfa and oil seed radish. These cover crops are used for increasing organic matter, limiting soil compaction and they are a proven natural way for us to fertilize our soil. Pruning, shoot tucking and positioning, leaf and fruit thinning are all done throughout the season to optimize the quality of our fruit.
CHRIS PROTONENTIS, WINEMAKER
Chris started working in the wine industry back in 2005 and took a slightly different path. He got his start with Peller Estates Winery; as a “wine consultant” guiding tours, seminars, and later dinner events. Over that time he started building his wine knowledge in different tasting courses. He enrolled in the Winery & Viticulture program at Niagara College back in 2008, wanting to pursue a career in winemaking. After graduation, he started working for Custom Quality Bottling; a mobile bottling line that would travel to wineries all over Ontario and Quebec. Wanting to get back into winemaking, Chris travelled to Western Australia, just outside of Margaret River, for the 2011 crush. Later, coming back home he was offered a job at Stratus Vineyards and spent the next year working in the cellar and lab. He then took a winemaking position at Ridgepoint Wines in Vineland, just in time for the 2013 Vintage. There, he was able to apply his knowledge to make some different wine such as: Nebbiolo, Appasimento style red wines and the award winning White Cab (his first ever commercially produced wine).
Chris joined the team here at Coyote’s Run in April, 2014 as assistant winemaker. David Sheppard, with over 30 years of winemaking experience was what drew him in “Dave has worked in winemaking for so long and has seen and done just about everything, that I couldn’t pass up learning from his experience”. The two have since been working together to produce some of Ontario’s best wine.
A drive down Queenston road in St. David’s gives you a great vista of the four mile creek sub-appellation growing area. Looking to the south gives the distinct impression of what forces carved out the landscape. An immediate slope followed by acres and acres of flat sprawling vineyard make it hard to imagine that 1000’s of years in the past you would have been at the beach. At the end of the last ice age, some 11,000 years ago the melt water of the Wisconsin glacier pushed the shores of what is now Lake Ontario to the southern side of Queenston road. Way back then Coyote’s Run would have been underwater. Nestled at the base of the base of the bench, Coyote’s Run reaps all the benefits of the four mile creek sub appellation. Excellent sun exposure and our unique soil conditions help us produce top Pinot Noirs and full-bodied reds.
The rest of the region showcases vast expanses of vineyard and dozens of wineries and growers with a reputation for quality. Four Mile Creek is the Niagara regions most productive appellation with abundant plantings of a wide range of vitis vinifera varieties.
Coyote’s Run is just 15 minutes away from Old Town Niagara on the Lake where you can shop the many boutique stores and enjoy the many world class restaurants the area has to offer. From premium hotels to quaint Bed and Breakfasts there is something for everyone. Visit us to enjoy all that our ‘backyard’ has to offer.