Visit of the Niagara Wineries – Southbrook Vineyards
After visiting Dillon’s (blog post coming en english), we had lunch in a charming place, De la Terre Kitchen, a bakery and a really delicious sandwich bar, where they only carry organic and local stuff, in short, a great place for a great sandwich just before heading to Southbrook Vineyards.
Southbrook Vineyards: Biodynamic & Organic
After this short stop, we’re heading to Southbrook Vineyards in Niagara-on-the-Lake. It is about thirty minutes of Grimsby where we were. The road is quite long if you are in the region of Beamsville / Vineland, so give yourself time or plan your route to visit one area at a time. So arrived at Southbrook, we come face to an amazing place, a modern building, purple, LEED. In short, everything is perfect in this area biodynamic and organic. We are greatly received by Paul DeCampo, Director of Sales and Marketing, which introduces us to the property and we speak a few words in french. We make a grand tour of the property with Paul to explain all the efforts made to Southbrook be as organic as possible.
For example, in this picture, Paul (De Campo) holds a horn. These horns that are then transformed into fertilizer for the fields. Another example of biodynamic farming at Southbrook, is that they are sheep and bees on the property. These sheep eat the grass of the field and later in the season, are used by the kitchen. Besides, Southbrook organise “Farmers Table” days from Friday to Sunday from 11:30 to 4:30 p.m. in collaboration with De La Terre Kitchen, like what the hazards do not exist. Besides all the animals that are on the farm Southbrook are growned by Linc Farm, whose are near the area.
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Wool products by the Link Farm sheeps strolling on the property of Southbrook
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Tasting with the director of winemaking and viticulture at Southbrook Vineyards: Ann Sperling
So, after briefly went into the shop, we are heading in the tasting room where beautiful products waits for us. And the winemaker Ann Sperling is also present with Paul to make us enjoy 8 beautiful products that are offered in private imports by Delaney Wines and Spirits and online. Organic wines are perfect for vegetarians and vegans, by their ProCert and Biodynamic certification.
Whites are the first on the lineup, an incredible experience.
2013 Estate Grown Small Lot Wild Ferment Chardonnay VQA
This Chardonnay produced in small batch (180 cases) is the successor of Chardonnay Minerality 2012 to taste, it has a rich cream base burned with notes of tangy pear and fennel seeds almost salty. The finish is long and clear, with the character of oak very well balanced by fruit and mineral qualities of the wine. The retail price is 34.95 per bottle.
2013 Estate Grown Small Lot Chardonnay ‘Vosges’ VQA
This Chardonnay is very similar to the first in its manufacturing method, by cons, it is produced in smaller quantities (114 cases or 4 barrels). The wine shows notes of ripe pear, toast and vanilla with a fleshy palette, elegant and showing the same pear and vanilla on the nose joined by nutmeg and delicious shade. The finish is long and elegant. The retail price is also 34.95 per bottle.
2012 Poetica Chardonnay VQA
The Poetica series is the series of the artistic side of Southbrook. This is the place where the Creator and lover meet. The Poeticas are not produced every year (I predict that there will be one in 2016). When the vintage excels, Southbrook team selects a white and / or red to become Poetica. Poetry on the labels is drawn from the work of a large sample of talented Canadian poets and reflects, in some way, a love theme. The wine honors the poem on the label, and the poem honors the wine in the bottle.
In short, a beautiful balance. In terms of Chardonnay, it shows rich layers of great complexity, ripe apple and spice with a taste in the mouth that is lush, warm and complex with additional notes of marzipan and warm bread. Everything leads us to a long, creamy finish. A retail price of 49.95 per bottle.
The Southbrook Vineyards orange wine, an exceptional product!
2015 Small Lot Natural Wine – Orange Wine
Probably the wine (far right in picture) that was the biggest surprise of all, I have also bring back a bottle. I had not really tasted an orange wine, except the one of my friend Catherine at a dinner at Le Fantôme. In short, I really loved this wine, this is something totally different in its composition, color, smell, everything seems to come from elsewhere. In a clear amber color, with some cloudiness caused by the lees in the bottle, it’s almost clear.
With an expressive nose of flowers composed of notes of mandarin, bergamot marmalade and is expected to something sweet on the palate. For cons, the wine is very dry, so we returned the herbal aroma and volume created by tannins and lies on the palate. The finish is long with fruit and perfectly balanced structure. It is a wine designed for the food, it is perfect agency with well-ripened cheeses [brie style, Taleggio], vegetable tempura, cream sauces, omelets with smoked fish and herbs, in short, enough food creamy. The price is 29.95 bottle.
Southbrook Vineyards reds, on the top!
Now, it is the turn of the reds. We skip to another game. The Cab Franc, Cab Sau as they are called here, are great wines, made originally European varieties. The Niagara-on-the-Lake region having a different climate in the region of Beamsville, it is more difficult to grow Pinot Noir, is the reason we find these varieties and other indigenous grapes .
2013 Triomphe Cabernet Franc VQA
This Cab Franc as it is called, is of average color of ruby include opening aromas of gooseberry and fresh cherry, kirsch and delicate floral notes, tobacco fresh, woodsmoke and wet clay. In the mouth it is bright, with a taste of juicy red fruit leading to a wave of fine tannins and toasty with a long finish, returns smoke flavors and earthy red fruits. It retails for $ 21.95 a bottle. A great wine to start the discovery of Canadian red.
2013 Estate Grown Small Lot Cabernet Franc ‘101’ VQA
Another Cab Franc with a red currant with fine raspberry, salted herbs and cedar wood on the nose. In terms of the mouth, it echoes the fruit flavors supported by toasty notes and firm tannins. The finish is medium length and is powered by fruit and savory notes. It’s an excellent BBQ wine that will be the perfect match with a striploin steak from Maillard! It retails for $ 34.95 a bottle.
2013 Estate Grown Small Lot Cabernet Sauvignon VQA
Now to Cab Sau (Cabernet Sauvignon and 88% Cabernet Franc 12%). We discover this wine with an intense nose of raspberry flavors, roasted blackberries and vanilla. The smooth mouthfeel brings you to the mouth perfectly ripe raspberry, plum and blackberry with surprising notes of cocoa on the finish. One wine to age, if you can, because it is a delight! At $ 39.95, it’s almost a bargain for a wine of this quality.
2007 Poetica Cabernet Merlot VQA
This Cabernet-Merlot from Poetica range mentioned above with white is inspired by Bordeaux Rive-Gauche, with a multitude of black fruit, clove, vanilla, mint, leather and running the show. It has a long, balanced finish. Interestingly since 2013, but you can wait another 10 years – if you can wait that long! If you are drinking now, decant the beast made for at least one hour for maximum enjoyment. It blends extremely well with grilled red meats. It retail at 54,95$
An interesting feature of Southbrook is their wine club, a subscription that lets you enjoy Southbrook wines in the comfort of your home. There are two sets, either 4 or 12 wines. A good way to encourage Canadian exceptional vineyard.
Welcomed like a king in Southbrook
I honestly did not expect to receive such a warm welcome, I was really pampered, and have met with Paul and Ann was an honor for me. Talking wine, marketing, architecture, how the field pays attention to the environment in its way was just incredible. The place is so quiet and serene, the light in the magnificent edifice results from the sun reflecting in the water basins of the entrance. In short, everything has been designed according to the environment by passionate people and a big thank you to Isaac Delaney of putting us in touch.
A big thank to Alexandre Petit and Marguerite Aghaby from Société de Vins Fins, Isaac Delaney of Delany Vins & Spiritueux, Élaine Côté of Rézin, Milton Mednick from Pearl Morrisette, Suzanne Danke of Stratus Vinyards, Paul DeCampo from Southbrook Vineyards, Daniel Lafleur from Tawse Winery & Redstone Winery, Harald Thiel and Meg McGrath of Hidden Bench Vineyards & Winery, David Hulley of Vineland Estates, Francis Martin of Maître de Chai. A big thank à Korynne Binette of Philippe Dandurand Wines and Christine Haddon of Queylus which unfortunately due to circumstances beyond our control have not been able to do the tour, but will be back soon, it’s a promise.