Our Story

walking down a vineyard
At the end of every row of grapes is a post that is leaning. Just as the vines need the support of posts and wires for their success, Ilya and I knew that we needed the support of friends, family members and financial institutions to make our dream a reality.
Nadia Senchuk

Meet The Family

Head Winemaker and Co-Founder

Ilya Senchuk

Ilya hails from the grape growing mecca of Winnipeg and dreamed of a career in food and wine. In 1998 Ilya read a magazine about the Brock Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture program and he knew that was the path to take.

After being a winemaker in the Niagara Region for 12 years, Ilya dreamed of starting his own project alongside his family. Starting Leaning Post as a virtual label in 2009, he has now spent over 20 years making wine and exploring terroir in Niagara.

Since buying the farm in 2011 that now houses the winery, Ilya has become both a talented winemaker and project manager to make his dream a reality.

Certified Sommelier | Co-Founder

Nadia Senchuk

Nadia met Ilya in Winnipeg during university and followed her own path in the business world. First working in Commercial Banking, she caught the entrepreneurial spirit from her customers passion for their business.

She then worked as Controller and VP Operations at a local manufacturing company to learn operations on a more practical front.

Now Nadia is living the entrepreneurial dream; hands dirty in all areas of the business. In order to maintain a strong wine knowledge, Nadia received her Certified Sommelier designation and along with WSET 3.

Assistant Winemaker

Ace Ferris

Anais (Ace) Ferris was originally drawn to the world of wine during her studies at George Brown College for Food and Beverage Management and decided to further her education at Niagara College with the Winery and Viticulture Program.

She has worked exclusively in the Niagara Region to get an in-depth understanding of this beautiful and unique wine region and to explore the different winemaking techniques being used.

Vineyard Manager

Diana Sangster

Diana moved to the Niagara Region to explore her interest in wine. While attending Niagara College for the wine and Viticulture program she found her love for the vineyard as well as winemaking. Since then she has continued to develop her wine knowledge with further study in WSET and WSG.
After working predominately in Niagara on the lake, she is excited to manage the Leaning Post vineyard in it's unique microclimate between the escarpment and Lake Ontario. Diana has found a great fit at the winery as she will be hands on throughout the entire winegrowing process.

Certified Sommelier | Head of Sales and Hospitality

Victor de Oliveira

Brazilian born and raised, Victor started his career in Hospitality and Hotel Management in Sao Paulo. Victor moved to Toronto in 2013 to obtain his second degree in Food and Beverage Management at George Brown College.

Absorbing experiences from the best institutions in Toronto such as Scaramouche Restaurant, Sotto Sotto and Pizzeria Libretto and acquiring his WSET 3 in the mix of it all, he quickly became a hot candidate for the best in the industry. Victor has also recently accomplished the Certified Sommelier and French Wine Scholar credentials.

As our Head of Sales and Hospitality, Victor is ready to provide you with the most memorable experiences.