South Brook Vineyards
The Redelmeiers have deep farming roots in Ontario. A timeline shows the evolution of
a third-generation family farm into one of Canada’s most innovative and forward-thinking vineyards and wineries.
Established in the 1860s at the head of the Don River by the Patterson family, Don Head Farms is purchased by William Redelmeier (current owner Bill Redelmeier's grandfather) in 1941. At its peak, Don Head Farms maintains the largest herd of Jersey cattle in Canada on hundreds of acres of fertile land north of Toronto. -
Bill and partner/co-owner, Marilyn, evolve the family business from a roadside stand in the 1980s to a thriving farm market. Bill upholds his grandfather's credo: To celebrate the excellence of fresh, local products and value the heritage and beauty of the land. The market’s commitment to supporting Ontario producers foreshadows the locavore movement yet to come.
As Bill gets ready to register a name for the new farm market, he looks to the land, or at least to a map. The individual parcels comprising Don Head Farms each have individual names such as South, North, East, West, Home, Mitchell and Brook. Bill goes to the registry office with several combinations prepared in case he finds the name already registered. He submits “South” and “Brook,” they are available, and Southbrook Farms is born. -
An appreciation of gourmet foods and wines lead the Redelmeiers to create a boutique winery and unique special event location, housed in the farm’s century-old barns. In 1991, having sourced some of the Niagara region’s finest grape varietals, Southbrook produces the first 2,000 cases of wine. They are ably assisted by the craftsmanship of Derek Barnett (later winemaker at Lailey Vineyard).