Jean Pierre Colas began making wine in Niagara in 1999, after starting his career in his native France.
He is currently the winemaker at 13th Street Winery in St. Catharines, Ontario
He is one of the most talented French trained winemakers in the business. He spent 10 years as head winemaker at Domaine Laroche, a large producer in Chablis. Jean work is way up starting as an apprentice spending 15 years learning to be a winemaker.
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 grapesí 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 Gewürztraminer.
"I think he's a first-rate white winemaker," says Tony Aspler, author of The Wine Atlas of Canada and Tony Aspler's Cellar Book. "I think that his white wines [at Peninsula Ridge]generally were better than his reds. He had a great feeling for white wines."
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
13th Street is a boutique winery,set amongst 25 acres of estate vineyards, is located just minutes west of St. Catharines and minutes from the QEW (exit at 7th Street). They specialize in hand-crafted sparkling wines, Pinot Noir, Gamay Noir, Chardonnay and Riesling.
Doug Whitty is the president at 13th Street Winery. Karen Whitty is the general manager. The Women in Niagara (WIN) Council and the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce (GNCC) hosted the Women in Business Awards (WIBA) at the Crowne Plaza Niagara Falls – Fallsview. Karen won in the Tourism Category.