13th Street Winery evolved from the desire to create exceptional wines that reflect the unique terroir of Niagara while also providing a place for guests to congregate and escape; to relax and discover; to experience and learn. Owners, partners and friends Doug and Karen Whitty and John and June Mann share a common love of wine, food and art and a genuine heart for hospitality. It was this shared appreciation that brought them together and provided the vision for 13th Street Winery.
Both families have strong roots in Niagara and a strong commitment to the community. Doug Whitty is the third generation to be operating the family farm in St Catharines which was originally established in 1908. John Mann has been involved in farming for over 30 years while building a very successful automotive dealership network in St Catharines and the surrounding areas.
13th Street Winery specializes in hand-crafted sparkling wines, Pinot Noir, Gamay Noir, Chardonnay and Riesling, crafted by winemaker Jean-Pierre Colas, 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: specifically, Gamay Noir, Cabernet Franc, Syrah and Pinot Noir. Likewise, JP 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 with 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 has 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.