Meet the people behind our wines, our tasting room, and all the great times around our winery.
As Proprietor and Winemaker, Kyle is responsible for the overall operation of the winery and all winemaking. Kyle's interest in food and wine probably took root before the age of five while foraging for crawfish, thistles, and other goodies in Louisiana with his grandparents. "It's likely one of the reasons I'm still fascinated by whatever is growing around me." One pull towards wine he didn't expect so strongly is its community. "Wine lovers don't drink wine by themselves in a corner; they love to share it. I love to think about the life of a wine like that the special place where each bottle may end up." Kyle was born in California, then lived in the wine country of New York and among the cornfields of Indiana before returning to California as a science graduate from Purdue. Later he studied viticulture and enology at University of California Davis while learning from outstanding winemakers at other small wineries.
As Proprietor and Events Manager, Shala is responsible for the overall operation of the winery and its events. If you see a detail that you like in our tasting room or at one of our events, chances are that Shala had something to do with it. Shala loves design and the beauty of art, food, and wine. Born and raised in California for most of her life, she is especially drawn to the diverse people, cultures, landscape, and microclimates that Californians enjoy. Shala has also lived with her family in Italy. Her grandfather was a cooper (barrel maker), and her family in the north still has vineyards in Piemonte, where Shala and Kyle have enjoyed regular visits and the rural beauty of hunting truffles. Shala and Kyle have a young son, Julian, who loves the grapes at harvest...and of course, the winery forklift.
As Tasting Room Manager, Karen is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the winery tasting room. You'll be delighted at her enthusiasm and creativity at taking care of you during your visit. One day she arrived at the winery exclaiming, "Smell this bowl of heirloom rose petals. I keep passing them when I walk, and they smell like our Saralee's Vineyard Pinot Noir!" That afternoon those roses were in our tasting room. Karen has dined and taken keen notes at some of the finest restaurants in the world, has worked around wine for years, and earned her Certified Sommelier credential after attending the International Culinary Center. She brings a range of tastes and sensibilities from having lived in North Carolina, Indiana, the New York Metro Area, and California.
As Wine Educator, David is often the one you'll find enticing and entertaining you with information and anecdotes in the tasting room, at winery events, and in our classes. We met David years ago before we started Coterie while working at other wineries, sharing wine dinners, and tracing other paths in the wine community. David is deeply knowledgeable of fine wine, and knows well the winemakers and vineyards of California. He is not just a collector of wines, but a collector of the people and places behind them. Sometimes he can tell you what the dirt smells like, and how it feels to have the vineyard owner take you on a wild ride in his jeep before giving you a horizontal, vertical, and "diagonal" tasting. David will delight you with our wines, and take you to the places where they grew up.
Visit our tasting room or attend any of our events, and you'll be under the care and attention of our friendly and knowledgeable tasting room and events team: Samantha Bunegin, Tracy Caruana, Eli Hruska, and Veronica Sanchez. Our tasting room and events team, along with Kyle, Shala, Karen, and David who are often in the tasting room as well, look forward to seeing you, sharing our wines, and delighting you with a captivating experience.
coterie noun. A small group with shared interests or tastes.
Since 2007, Coterie has produced wines from tiny parcels within acclaimed vineyards that express the distinction of their place. We make every wine berry to bottle by hand with as little intervention as possible. Our winery is nestled in a cozy neighborhood near downtown San Jose, around the corner from the SAP Center and The Historic Alameda. We're part of a movement of wineries locating back into urban areas to make fine wines within the communities in which we live.