It started simply enough: To make the finest wines possible in a respectful, local, light-on-the-land fashion. From there, things became something of an epic journey marked by hurdles and many industry firsts. Becoming growers strengthened these principles, as the control over the quality of the most vital ingredient, the grapes, shifted to the Redelmeiers’ hands. Bill and Marilyn also shared a belief that wine should be about pleasure, and that the job of winemaking is about creating wines that express the story both of the grapes and the ground that nourishes them.
From their purchase of the Niagara-on-the-Lake vineyard in 2005, the Redelmeiers committed their energies to sustainable viticulture. By 2008, they had created the first wine estate in Canada to earn both organic and biodynamic certification for its vineyard and winery. Southbrook also takes a leadership role in the wine community by mentoring, educating and sharing in an effort to encourage a growing understanding of organic and biodynamic methods.
The design and construction of Southbrook’s hospitality pavilion to LEED®-Gold standards also embraced many more green initiatives covering water management, energy conservation, sustainable materials and resources and indoor air quality.
Located on a 150-acre property with 60 acres of vines, Southbrook’s new facilities include the winery and our hospitality pavilion, designed by Jack Diamond of Diamond and Schmitt Architects. The winery reuses a pre-existing agricultural building, retrofitted to exacting standards to achieve a gentle winemaking process with optimum oxygen management. The pavilion contains a tasting room, wine shop, hospitality areas, and other guest amenities and is an elegant glass structure filled with light set against a striking 200-metre long landscape wall.
An agricultural sensibility underpins the evolution of Southbrook Vineyards. From cattle ranch, to farm market, to winery in century barns, the Redelmeiers started this journey on then-rural land north of Toronto. Reinvesting in agriculture, Marilyn and Bill then made the move to establish a sustainable vineyard and winery in the heart of Ontario wine country.
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