• By: Emma Dykstra

Southbrook Organic Vineyards

ABOVE: Andrew will Bill Redelmeier in front of the Southbrook's LEED Gold pavilion.

Southbrook Organic Vineyards started in 1991 as an evolution of Southbrook Market. The Market began in 1983 as a roadside stand in Richmond Hill (North of Toronto) selling only fresh Ontario produce. Looking for a new challenge, Bill and Marilyn Redelmeier started the winery using the best quality Ontario grapes they could buy. They recognized that wine is similar to produce: Quality will keep people coming back.

In 2005, the Redelmeiers purchased 75 acres in Niagara on the Lake, the warmest region in Niagara. From the beginning they wanted to prove what was possible in Niagara. From the Jack Diamond designed LEED Gold pavilion to their pioneering use of organic and biodynamic agriculture, everything is designed to make the best wines and the least impact on the environment.

Southbrook is well known for their Estate Wines: Bordeaux Reds, and Chardonnays, as well as being pioneers in the production of “Orange” wine. This is not made from Seville or Navel oranges, but from Vidal grapes (white) and produced in the style of red wine: the skin contact gives the wine an orange colour.

Today with 150 acres, Southbrook continues to produce wine of the highest quality. They’ve won dozens of awards throughout the years for their delectable wines, including Best Red Wine – 2013 Estate Grown Small Lot Cabernet Franc ‘101' in 2016 and gold for their 2016 Triomphe Riesling at the WineAlign National Wine Awards of Canada.

When asked to name his favourite wine Bill says, “the best wine is the one you share with good friends over a great meal.”

Some of the wines are available at the LCBO, though they love it when they get to meet people at the winery.

You can do a tour and tastings at the winery, or order online at Southbrook.com. As a special offer, if you sign up to the community list, Southbrook will pay for the shipping of your first order.

Wine tasting hours are every day from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. during their winter season (October 14-May 22). You can also attend The Grand Tasting which involves relaxing in their beautiful Oak Room as you enjoy a guided tasting of three samples of the Estate and Single Vineyard wines at only $25 a person.

And if you come at the right time when Bill is there, he is always happy to take you on a tour and answer all the questions you might have!