Biodynamics: A gift to ourselves and everyone else

Southbrook is Canada’s first winery to have its vineyard certified by Demeter, the international body that oversees biodynamic agriculture.

The Foundation

Biodynamics is based on a series of eight lectures delivered by philosopher Rudolf Steiner in 1924 called “The Agricultural Course”. His early works attempted to synthesize the mystical or spiritual with the scientific. Steiner’s work with doctors, educators and farmers resulted in anthroposophical medicine, Waldorf education and biodynamic agriculture.

Shortly before his death, a group of farmers concerned with the effects of chemicals on the land approached Steiner for his ideas. The eight lectures were the result. The term “biologically dynamic” or “biodynamic” was created by supporters to Steiner’s theories. Biodynamic agriculture is now practiced in over 50 countries around the world.

Biodynamics at Southbrook

With biodynamic agriculture, all required materials such as manure and animal feed are produced from within the farm. Our aim is to move our vineyard towards individuality in its own right through these methods. Our grapes may then become a true, authentic expression of this individuality. 

The outcome is that our customers enjoy terrific wines of honesty and soul. We also believe that the origins, production techniques and handling of our wines should be as transparent as possible. Nothing conceals the true nature or factual properties of our products. The essence of biodynamic wine is vitality preserved.

Securing Demeter certification places Southbrook in the ranks of fine winemakers around the world. We, as they do, recognize the tremendous impact that biodynamic viticulture has on the creation of superior wine. To be in the company of such outstanding wineries as Maison Chapoutier, Domaine LeflaiveDomaine Zind-HumbrechtCoulée de SerrantBenziger Family Winery and Lightfoot & Wolfville is worthy of celebration.

Rather than dabble in a few biodynamic practices, we have committed ourselves to the full certification process. We have gone to unprecedented lengths in the Canadian wine industry to demonstrate to the undecided that biodynamics can be successful in our cool climate. Our team is led by Casey Hogan, the winemaker. The team includes our Vineyard Manager, Len Van Hoffen, and Cellar Hand, Emily Lacey. Together, they have carried out additional research and studies to expand our understanding of biodynamics.

Expressing Terroir

A snapshot, yields-per-acre analysis is only one way to measure productivity. Another is to look at the productivity of the land over time. Here, sustainable agriculture beats industrial farming hands down. One of the fundamentals of sustainable agriculture is an understanding that the soil is alive. And healthy soil is the cornerstone of productive farming.

Our experience in tasting the world’s finest wines from biodynamically raised grapes has proven to us that the practice produces amazing, vibrant wines. The drive behind all our efforts at Southbrook is to make unique, ageable, superlative wines that are true expressions of terroir.

A Holistic Path

The handwork, natural inputs, attentive vineyard care, self-sufficiency and observation of natural rhythms prescribed in biodynamics simply offer a better working environment. We feel this is the most responsible path for ourselves, our workers and the future of viticulture in Canada. 

leaves on a branch, autumn feel