Meet a Festival Sponsor: Southbrook Vineyards
When we learned about this local vineyard we jumped at the chance to partner with Southbrook Vineyards to bring their organic, biodynamic wine to our Festival! Based in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Southbrook has been the Official Wine Sponsor of the Planet in Focus Environmental Festival two years running. Their focus on environmental sustainability, both in their vineyard and hospitality building, sets Southbrook apart. Come to the Festival and see for yourself – organic really does taste better!
-Can you tell us what ‘biodynamic’ means? What does it mean that Southbrook is a biodynamic vineyard?
-Biodynamic farming emphasizes the balance and interrelationship of a farm’s soil, plants and animals to grow low-impact, vibrant crops, including grapes. It treats the whole farm as a single living entity to which enhancing biodiversity is key. All of our farming activities are managed based on the alignment of lunar energies, to which specific phases of the moon dictate the most appropriate times to plant, to fertilize and to harvest. For us, biodynamic practices mean better wine; wines of intention and wines of quality.
-What inspires Southbrook to be “green”?
-Southbrook is Canada’s first winery to have its vineyard certified by Demeter, the international body that oversees biodynamic agriculture. While that can have positive commercial implications, these are not what drive us. 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. 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.
-Is there a film that Southbrook is most excited to see at the Festival this year?
- The Carbon Rush. It’s is the persistence of people like those featured in the Carbon Rush that inspires us to keep pushing for cleaner, more sustainable practices. If those who are facing the most unfathomable odds and pressures can persist against some of the world’s most influential organizations, then we can continue to strive for cleaner, greener and more sustainable operations.
Our pursuit of this ideal has shown us the importance of organic and biodynamic viticulture. It has instilled in us a respect for the soil, water and ecosystems upon which great wine, and our planet, relies. From the beginning, we sought to provide a good example of what is possible in Ontario, and to pursue certification to back it up. Southbrook’s harmonious relationship to the land is passionately revealed through every aspect of our operations, and in the quality of our wines. Our LEED® Gold-certified hospitality building celebrates the vines that surround it. But the full expression of Southbrook’s philosophy is our biodynamic, organic vineyard and winery. From these, Southbrook produces fine age-worthy wines, most notably Cabernet Sauvignon, classic Bordeaux blends and Chardonnays.