Posted by VelmaTuesday, November 19th, 2013
Coyote's Run is a small, family-owned vineyard, situated in the Niagara-on-the-Lake region, which has been blessed with two very distinct and geographically separated types of soil – a heavy black clay loam and a rich red one. When you’re talking about wine with other wine enthusiasts, a topic that ultimately comes up at some point is that of “terroir” - wine speak for the influence that the environment can have on grapes and, ultimately, the wine created from them.
What is Terroir?
It's all about the environment & the grapes and how they work together, particularly as it relates to the soil in which the grapes are grown. This is of great interest to Jeff Aubry, the president and founding partner of Coyote’s Run Estate Winery, this month’s featured winery. Having two different soils on the same property (where other environmental factors such as sun and temperature remain the same) has made it possible for the winery to experiment with terroir.
Jeff, who has planted the same grape varietals on both the “Red Paw” Vineyard and the “Black Paw” Vineyard, knows from first-hand experience that terroir certainly can make a difference. During our Savvy Tasting Panel of Coyote’s Run wines last month, we had the opportunity to taste two 2011 Cabernet Sauvignons – one from the Red Paw Vineyard and one from the Black Paw Vineyard. Needless to say we had a lot of fun with the ‘dirty’ experiment. After a lot of discussion about terroir, our Sommeliers were able to make their short list for you.
In your your November Savvy Selections you will find:
2012 Dave Sheppard Vintage 30 Gewurztraminer – This premium wine celebrates winemaker Dave Sheppard’s 30th vintage & is now sold out!
2011 Red Paw Vineyard Chardonnay $19.95 – A class act.
2011 Black Paw Cabernet Sauvignon $21.95 – This is the first Cabernet Sauvignon from the Black Paw Vineyard. Hearty stews or Sunday roasts – here we come!
OPTIONAL WINES: Have your own mini-wine tasting!
Coyote's Run of NOTL has a unique property. Half of their vineyard is grown in red soil & the other half in black soil. Taste the difference the soil makes by trying these 2 wines (Black Paw Cabernet Sauvignon & Red Paw Cabernet Sauvignon) side by side. They are similar in weight & texture, yet noticeably different. Warning: it will spark great dinner party conversations!
2011 Red Paw Cabernet Sauvignon $21.95 - Similar to Black Paw Cab Sauv in weight & texture, yet noticeably different.
Similar to other wineries we have featured in Savvy Selections, some Coyote’s Run wines are at the LCBO, yet many are not. If you would like additional bottles of your favourite Coyote’s Run wine – or other featured Ontario wineries - just give me a call on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange an additional delivery for you. It is always my pleasure to introduce you to wonderful new Ontario wines!
Coyote’s Run Estate Winery
Presented by Savvy Sommelier Velma LeBlanc
I remember the first time I came across Coyote’s Run Estate Winery. It was at a Taste and Buy event that Savvy Company was hosting at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa several years ago. At the time, I was new to the Savvy Team and Debbie encouraged me to take a ‘tour’ around the event & talk to the winemakers – Coyote’s Run stood out for me.
In front of the wine bottles on the table were two handfuls of dirt from its vineyards – one red and one black – and I thought to myself “what a great way to engage people in conversation about the influence that soil and other elements in nature have on wine production”.
I had the opportunity to catch up with Jeff Aubry, the co-founder, while he was in Ottawa. Here’s what I learned about Jeff and his family-owned winery that prides itself on producing wines that reflect its unique terroir and microclimate.
The wine business is so unique
When Jeff was laid off from a high-tech company for the second time in three years, he decided it was time to change careers.
“I had had my fill of working for other people and big companies and not being able to do what I wanted to express my excitement and energy. My father and I were talking one day and I said ‘You know, I really dig the wine business. I think it would be fun.’ My father said, ‘Let’s do it’.”
And do it, they did. In April 2003, after a six-month search, they purchased an existing vineyard in the Niagara-on-the-Lake region, about 20 minutes from St. Catherine’s – where Jeff now lives. By September, less than six months later, Coyote’s Run Winery was up and running, and Jeff hasn’t looked back.
“What intrigued me most about the wine business was the uniqueness of the product. In the high-tech business, you are selling minutes or packets on a network and those minutes and packets are undifferentiable. A Cisco packet is the same as a Nortel packet which is the same as a Juniper packet. At the end of the day, they are all the same.
“The wine business is the complete opposite. We create and sell a product that is entirely unique. No one else can reproduce the wines we make from our property. Ours are unique to what we do in the vineyard, to the ground we have, to what we do in the cellar, to the winemaker we have. And, for me, that’s attractive." Savvy Sommelier & founder Debbie Trenholm visited Coyote’s Run Winery just before harvest this year, in the photo at left they are inspecting the grapes at Coyote's Run.
‘Red Paw’ vs ‘Black Paw’ soil...can you taste the difference?
The uniqueness of the soil that’s found in the vineyards also attracted Jeff. The property boasts two very different kinds of soil that are geographically separated from each other. The red Trafalgar clay loam, which is quite scarce in the region, is stony, iron-rich, and rather infertile, creating ideal conditions for premium grapes. The heavier black Toledo clay loam contains more organic matter than the red soil, which means it holds more water and heat. That combination makes it more challenging to grow grapes (which thrive more in austere conditions) but that also produce rich, robust wines. Wines produced from grapes grown in the red soil are marketed as “Red Paw” and those grown in the black soil as “Black Paw”.
“I knew going in that the soils would be really interesting and would add some complexity to the grapes, but I didn’t really understand at the time just how profound that difference would be. Wine derives a lot of its flavour and structure from the soil, so when the soil changes, you get a different wine.”
Over the years, the winery has experimented with the impact of soil on the grapes by planting the same grape varietals in both types of soil and then comparing the results. To date, they’ve done comparisons with Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Gris, and Chardonnay.
“We see the terroir effect shining through each and every time. For us, that’s exciting.”
Naming the winery
In addition to the different soil types at the vineyard, another key point of interest that people want to know about is the name of the winery.
Jeff says he had no interest in naming the winery after himself and didn’t feel the property featured anything geographically or historically significant that would lend itself obviously to a name. “We don’t have any rivers or lakes or streams or hills or mountains. What we do have, though, are coyotes – and lots of them – running from one side of the property to the other. So, naturally, we called it Coyote’s Run”.
Although the coyotes are primarily out in the evening or early morning, Jeff has occasionally come in close contact with them while out in the vineyards walking his dog.
Flying the flag for Ontario wineries
Jeff’s days are busy and varied, ranging from meetings, to managing up to 15 employees at one time, to dumping boxes of grapes into bins. He also engages in many promotional efforts. Jeff explains, “You have to fly the flag. There are thousands of wineries trying to sell wine in Ontario. We are up against a tsunami of subsidized wines from other countries. The wines we make here are as good as, if not better than, other regions of the world. So, you have to be out there, pouring your wine, and telling your story.”
Which is something that Jeff loves to do. “The wine business is unbeatable. I love it. To make this unique product and sell it is good, good fun. I would never go back to anything else.”
In the photo at left, Debbie strolls through the vineyards with Coyote's Run owner, Jeff Aubry.
Cheers & enjoy your Savvy Selections!
~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~
As soon as the grapes arrived on the crush pad at Coyote’s Run, the winery team knew they would be producing their white wine of the year. Through the skill of winemaker Dave Shepperd and his ability to give full expression to the fruit, that belief became reality, creating a wine that has sold faster than any other of their wines to date. Savvy Selections subscribers, in fact, are getting the very last of this premium wine, - it has all sold out!
Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: This slightly off-dry Gewürztraminer is extremely aromatic and well-balanced with floral and fruit notes and a long peppery finish.
Suggested Food Pairing: This premium wine can be sipped on its own or enjoyed with Asian and/or other spicy food such as the stir-fried shrimp with pepper sauce recipe below.
This full-bodied Chardonnay – the first from the Red Paw Vineyard – gets its subtle oak flavour from Hungarian oak.
Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Aromas of tropical fruit and butterscotch come through on both the nose and palette, as do hints of vanilla and pear. This subtly oaked Chardonnay also boats a nice buttery finish.
Suggested Food Pairing: This wine can be enjoyed on its own or with a rich meat or poultry dish that includes butter, oil or cream. Try it with the Chicken Marbella recipe below for lunch or supper on a cold winter day, along with some garlic bread.
This is the first Cabernet Sauvignon from the Black Paw Vineyard, and is extremely food friendly.
Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: More full-bodied than a typical cold-climate Cab, this is a well-balanced wine that features aromas and tastes of pepper, cloves, cherry, raspberry and mint.
Suggested Food Pairing: Would pair well with any pork or red meat dish, including a roast or stew. Try it with the meat loaf below and mashed potatoes for a casual Friday night dinner with friends.
~RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS~
With Coyote’s Run Gewürztraminer
Stir-Fried Shrimp with Pepper Sauce
From Foods of the World, TimeLife Books and www.alleasyrecipes.com
1 pound fresh shrimp in their shells (about 26 to 30 to the pound)
1 Tablespoon finely chopped, peeled fresh ginger root
1 teaspoon coarsely chopped garlic
4 scallions, including the green tops, cut into ¼-inch pieces
1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or pale dry sherry
2 tablespoons soy sauce1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes
2 tablespoons tomato catsup
1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in2 tablespoons cold chicken stock, fresh or canned, or cold water
2 tablespoons peanut oil, or flavorless vegetable oil
Shell and devein the shrimp. Then wash them under cold running water, drain and pat them dry with paper towels. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Have the shrimp, and the oil, ginger, garlic, scallions, red-pepper flakes, wine, soy sauce, tomato catsup, sugar, salt and cornstarch mixture within easy reach.
Set a 12-inch work or skillet over high heat for about 30 seconds. Pour in 2 tablespoons of oil, swirl it about in the pan and heat for another 30 seconds, reducing the heat to moderate if the oil begins to smoke.
Immediately add the chopped ginger, garlic, scallions and red-pepper flakes, stir-fry for about 20 seconds, and drop in the shrimp.
Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 or 2 minutes, or until the shrimp turn pink and firm. Add the wine, soy sauce and tomato catsup, sugar and salt; stir once or twice.
Give the cornstarch mixture a quick stir to recombine it and add it to the pan, stirring continuously, until the mixture thickens and coats the shrimp with a translucent glaze. Transfer to a heated platter and serve at once.
With Coyote’s Run Chardonnay...
From Silver Palate Cookbook
Servings 10-12 servings
4 chickens approx. 2 ½ pounds each, quartered
1 head of garlic, peeled and finely pureed
1/4 cup dried oregano
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup pitted prunes
1/2 cup pitted Spanish green olives
1/2 cup capers with a bit of juice
6 bay leaves
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white wine
1/4 cup Italian parsley or fresh coriander (cilantro), finely chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl combine chicken quarters, garlic, oregano, pepper and coarse salt to taste, vinegar, olive oil, prunes, olives, capers and juice, and bay leaves. Cover and let marinate, refrigerated, overnight.
Arrange chicken in a single layer in one or two large, shallow baking pans and spoon marinade over it evenly. Sprinkle chicken pieces with brown sugar and pour white wine around them.
Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, basting frequently with pan juices. Chicken is done when thigh pieces, pricked with a fork at their thickest, yield clear yellow (rather than pink) juice.
With a slotted spoon transfer chicken, prunes, olives and capers to a serving platter. Moisten with a few spoonfuls of pan juices and sprinkle generously with parsley or cilantro. Pass remaining pan juices in a sauceboat.
To serve Chicken Marbella cold, cool to room temperature in cooking juices before transferring to a serving platter. If chicken has been covered and refrigerated, allow it to return to room temperature before serving. Spoon some of the reserved juices over chicken.
With Coyote’s Run 2011 Black Paw Cabernet Sauvignon...
Best Ever Meat Loaf
From Canadian Living Magazine
Tips from the kitchen: This loaf maybe frozen baked or unbaked if using fresh grd. beef. So it can be made ahead. This is definitely one meat loaf you can serve to company. Serve with creamy mashed potatoes and a green vegetable.
2 eggs, beaten lightly with a fork
2/3 cup milk
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tsp salt
3 slices fresh bread, crumbled
1 chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1-1/2 lbs lean ground beef
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup ketchup or chili sauce, or both
1 tbsp prepared mustard
Beat eggs in large bowl. Add milk, salt, pepper and crumbled bread; beat until bread disintegrated. Add onion, carrot, cheese & beef mixing well. Then pack into 9x5" loaf pan.
Combine brown sugar, ketchup, chili sauce & mustard and spread the mixture over loaf.
Bake in 350 degree oven for 1 hr. Let stand 10 mins., remove from pan. Serve hot or cold. Make 8 hot slices or 12 cold slices.
TIP: A food processor comes in handy as everything can be chopped in it.
Enjoy your Savvy Selections!