Our Family

Doug and Karen Whitty, Owners

Doug Whitty is the humble president of 13th Street Winery and of Whitty Farms, representing the third generation of the Whitty family and over 100 years of family-operated stewardship over Niagara soil. Upon earning a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the University of Guelph, Doug traveled extensively: as a member of the internal youth expedition in Japan and the Rotary Group Study Exchange in Central America. Following his return to Niagara, Doug consciously cultivated the family fruit farm with sustainability in mind. Eventually, Doug would go on to be selected as the president of the Niagara Peninsula Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association.

Beyond agriculture, Doug is a renaissance man with a deep affinity for abstract art, local musical talent, and authentic Canadian cuisine (i.e. butter tarts).

Karen Whitty is Doug’s wife and the General Manager of 13th Street Winery. With a degree in Biochemistry from McMaster University, Karen started her career working for the federal government with Agriculture Canada. Following eighteen years and several scientific publications, Karen left her Vineland Agricultural Research Station in 2005 to devote her time and energy to facilitating the growth and excellence of Whitty Farms. Upon her introduction, Karen implemented and directed administration, marketing, processing and value added initiatives at Whitty Farms. Congruently, Karen excels at these same responsibilities as General Manager at 13th Street.

Grand Re Opening

Jean Pierre Colas, Winemaker

Jean Pierre Colas is one of the most talented French-trained winemakers in the business. His winemaking philosophy is quite simple. He believes that great wines come from the best grapes grown in the best

vineyards, whereas winemaking techniques are only utilized to supplement and capture the very essence of the grapes’ provenance and character. With this philosophy in mind, JP excels at crafting high-quality red wines paramount to the Niagara peninsula: Gamay Noir, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, and Pinot Noir. Likewise, J.P. guides the production of exceptional white wines, including world class Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, and Gewurztraminer.

In his home country of France, JP worked at the notable Chablis house, Domaine Laroche, where he produced Wine Spectator Magazine’s 1998 White Wine of the Year, an award he received for his Domaine Laroche Grand Cru Les Clos 1996. Also in 1998, Jean Pierre was awarded the Best Wine in the Wine Enthusiast, Grand Cru Chablis Blanchots “Reserve de l’obedience” 1996 (99 pts).

Between France and his current residency at 13th Street, Jean Pierre travelled and worked extensively around the world, including Carmen Vineyards in Chile, Bodegas Chandon in Argentina, and Oyster Bay Winery in New Zealand. He has studied and worked under a number of exceptional winemakers including Michel Givors in Morgon, Beaujolais and Gilbert Picq, and Michel Laroche in Chablis, Burgundy.

Ilya Rubin, Director of Sales

Ilya Rubin, our Director of Sales, joined the 13th Street team in January 2013 and oversees sales to licensees, the LCBO, out-of-province and export markets, and provides marketing and sales support to all of our partners in these areas as we continue to grow our business.

Ilya’s past positions include various sales and leadership roles at Trialto Wine Group (2006-2012), Certified Instructor for the International Sommelier Guild (2009-2012), as well as having previously worked in fine restaurants in Toronto, most recently at Scaramouche (2005).

He is a passionate wine professional, a certified sommelier, and loves all things local!

Ruth Peters, Director of Marketing

In 2010, Ruth joined the team at 13th Street Winery and brings with her over 20 years of experience in travel and tourism marketing. A graduate of McMaster University in Hamilton, her past responsibilities include director of marketing for a Canadian cruise wholesaler, owner and publisher of a resource guide for families, database management for a luxury travel magazine, as well as many years as a self-employed marketing consultant. Ruth has also taught continuing education courses on marketing and cruising at Conestoga College in Waterloo, Ontario.

Ruth’s role at 13th Street has evolved over the years. Today, her focus is on marketing, working with everyone on the team to promote 13th Street Winery through traditional and digital channels.

Corinne Maund, Wine Club Manager

A native of the Niagara Region, Corinne came by her love of wine naturally. Her education began at the Niagara Culinary Institute at Niagara College. Following her training, she worked with Hillebrand Estates Winery. She then moved to Nova Scotia where she studied and received her Sommelier certification from the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers Atlantic Chapter. During her time out East she  worked as the sommelier at restaurants in Nova Scotia, where she conducted many wine tastings and classes. It was Corinne’s love of wine that inspired her to move back to Niagara Region.

As Retail Manager Corinne can often be found at the tasting bar greeting guests and educating them on our wines. She also shares her love of wine and food by planning and hosting our popular Wine & Food Seminars and other culinary events. Corinne is also responsible for managing our Wine Clubs, planning special events for our members and sharing her passion for wine and food with them!