The Team


We are a small team of committed wine enthusiasts.

Derek and Pat, the founders of the winery, are found regularly meeting and greeting customers at the winery.

We strive to provide customers with a personalized winery experience in our charming rustic setting. You'll meet all of us at our events and we look forward to meeting you.

 

 

 

 


The Team (Derek Saunders, Pat Latin)

Derek Saunders President, Owner


After more than 20 years in broadcasting working with CBC and recently CTV National News, Calamus has its first true full time employee.

Beginning in university as an amateur winemaker, then managing several retail stores in the home wine and brewing industry; Derek has continued to learn the business from the ground up. He currently holds two diplomas from the International Wine Education Guild, is a long standing member of the Noble Rotters wine tasting group and a member of the Ontario Wine Society. Since he and his wife Pat purchased the first of two vineyard properties in 1999 through opening the winery in 2006, he has developed his winemaking and business skills and knowledge through experience, experimentation, courses, endless reading and hands on experience at a number of Niagara wineries.

Pat Latin General Manager, Owner


Pat is not new to the General Manager role. For more than 20 years Pat held senior management roles in the women's fashion industry. She was general manager of two women's retail fashion chains and had her own entrepreneurial business in medical uniforms. Pat has a great deal of buying, forecasting, budgeting and customer service experience that transition to any industry. This experience is all put to good use every day at Calamus.

On the personal side, Pat's domestic skills, a flare for cooking, sewing and floral arranging, all come in handy for planning and helping with many winery events both on site and off.

Arthur Harder Winemaker


Arthur Harder was born in Grimsby, and raised in Vineland Station in the heart of the Niagara viticultural region. For Harder, wine has been a passion from an early age. In 1978 while on a backpack trip in Europe he made it a point to visit the Champagne region in France.

Harder chose a professional road soon after, with a degree in chemistry from Ryerson University (Toronto, ON), and in Oenology and Viticulture at the famed Geisenheim University (Geisenheim, Germany).

In the 20 plus years since, Harder has worked to produce excellent grapes and great wines in both Canada and Germany. He has worked with Barnes Wines (St. Catharines), Inniskillin Wines (Niagara-on-the-Lake), and Hillebrand Estates Winery (Virgil) in Canada, and the Institute for Grape Breeding and Grafting (Geisenheim), Asbach-Kretschmar (Rüdesheim), and the Klostermuehle Winery (Odernheim/Nahe) in Germany.

Now focusing on his roots in Vineland he continues to craft fine wines, which express the quality grapes grown in the Estate vineyards. The wines while approachable in their youth also have the ability to age gracefully for many years.

Larry Horne Sales Manager


After an extensive career in Media Sales and Management with the CBC, Larry decided to take on a new challenge as Sales Manager for Calamus Estate Winery. To enhance his already broad knowledge of wine and the wine industry Larry has completed the "Winery Business Operations" course at Niagara College.

Larry co-founded the Noble Rotters Tasting Club in 1989 (still active today) and has been a member of the Ontario Wine Society for over 10 years. He has attended countless industry seminars and tastings and has a unique ability to develop great contacts at these events.

He consulted on the New World Wine Tour, a 130 episode TV series produced by Forevergreen Productions.

Larry has traveled to most of the world's important wine regions. A story on his recent trip to New Zealand wineries appeared in the 2007 issue of Vines Magazine.

Sheila Minkhorst Director, Marketing & Promotions


Having an eye for a good investment, Sheila became a partner in Calamus Estate Winery in September, 2007. She is helping with the marketing and promotional side of the business. Sheila has made winery visits an integral part of her travel plans over the last 10 years and has always had a keen interest in the Niagara wine industry.

Sheila has worked in the Human Resources side of her spouse's family business since 1994. She has recently completed the Master Taster Certificate at Niagara College and has an MBA from York University. Sheila is also a member and volunteer Event Planner with the Niagara Chapter of the Ontario Wine Society.

Debbie Levere Retail Associate


Debbie Levere worked for many years in the telecommunications industry doing everything from sales and tech support to instructing and technical writing. When she decided to retire, shortly after watching the movie Sideways, she was a member of the Opimian Society in Saint John, NB learning from tastings she attended there. She knew she had to live and work in Niagara.

After moving to Niagara Falls she quickly joined the Niagara chapter of the Ontario Wine Society where she held several positions on the Board and planned many tasting events over the years. Debbie also decided to work in wineries and has worked at several in the region, learning a lot along the way.

She chooses to remain at Calamus ("Niagara's hidden gem" she calls it) due to the friendly atmosphere and quality wines. Debbie works mainly in the tasting room but she also does work behind the scenes, planning events and keeping the office organized.

Robin Holford Retail Associate


From a very young age Robin has been immersed in the wine industry. Starting from small sips of sparkling at New Years to learning to smell wine and perceive aromas from different varieties, to eventually enjoying a glass. Her passion for the wine industry came from years of working at her parent's small winery in British Columbia. She was able to work every aspect of their small winery and it developed her passion to pursue winemaking.

Robin is currently in the Oenologly and Viticulture program at Brock University in St. Catharines. This program is the only undergraduate bachelor program in Canada and the reason she moved to Ontario to pursue her post-secondary degree. Part of the program there is a co-op section where students get practical experience working for a winery. This opportunity has allowed Robin to get to know Canada's biggest wine region and to work outside her home province. Robin found Calamus through the program and is excited to see another smaller family-run winery, that produces award winning wines, in the Niagara peninsula. She enjoys the opportunity to "wear different hats" in the winery and to experience both the retail and winemaking sides.