Welcome to BoBo Feed

BoBo is a French expression, short for Bourgeois Bohème, and it pretty much describes who we are.

Bobo Feed will be sharing things that inspire us or please us-
from the worlds of architecture & design, fashion & styling, food and drink, travel, urban living, whatever...

We hope you enjoy.


Monday, January 3, 2011

Rounding Out a Glorious Autumn: Niagara Wine Tour, Part 3

As you read here and here, we spent a very enjoyable day back in November touring three beautiful wineries in Niagara. After leaving the second, Jackson Triggs, we hopped on the bus again and headed to Southbrook Vineyards, the newest of the three.

Southbrook is a mid-sized winery owned by Marilyn and Bill Redelmeier who once upon a time bought grapes from Niagara growers, making and bottling the wine at their farm on the outskirts of suburban Toronto. They've recently upped their game with a major commitment to environmental stewardship and completion in 2008 of their Diamond & Schmitt- designed Hospitality Pavilion. Southbrook practices Biodynamic agriculture, a rigorous approach that starts with organic and carries on much further. This explanation is from the website of the Demeter group, the certifying body in North America for Biodynamic agriculture:
Biodynamic agriculture goes beyond organic, envisioning the farm as a self-contained and self-sustaining organism. In an effort to keep the farm, the farmer, the consumer, and the earth healthy, farmers avoid chemical pesticides and fertilizers, utilize compost and cover crops, and set aside a minimum of 10% of their total acreage for biodiversity. The entire farm, versus a particular crop, must be certified, and farms are inspected annually.
You can read more about the practice here. And as an example of the efforts they go to, Southbrook avoids the use of both petroleum consuming lawn mowing equipment and chemical fertilizers by employing a small herd of sheep to trim the grassy areas between the rows of vines! How cute is that!?

The Wines:
Winemaker Ann Sperling focuses on popular varietals such as Cabernet, Merlot, Shiraz, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc. They also make a few fruit wines such as blackberry and blueberry, as well as Cassis and Framboise beverages.
A very entertaining tasting session, probably the best of the three, had us quaffing first a rosé, then the Chardonnay, followed by a Cabernet Franc, and rounded off with the Vidal Icewine. (Hooray! Finally a traditional non-red icewine!) We found the rosé to be the most appealing, followed by the Chardonnay. The Cab Franc, in our opinion, could have been a little cleaner.

The Building: 
Any discussion about the building must return to the matter of site stewardship, which ties back to the entire philosophy about agriculture and wine making as mentioned earlier. In addition to that flock of sheep we told you about, gray water from the building and the site's runoff water move slowly through an artificial wetland to be completely purified before making their way into the municipal drainage system. The building itself has been certified as LEED Gold. And to prove that smart buildings that tread lightly upon the land don't have to be visually burdened by their mission, this one's a looker!

The approach face consists of a long wall that runs out to the highway to grab passers-by. Painted a soothing lavender, it reminds you of the colours of Provence. A slim roof hovers above and the strident horizontal  plane is punctuated by a vertical brown chimney; the entire composition borrows from the striking imagery of Mexico's Luis Barragan. After passing through a formal portal in the wall you enter the light flooded interior spaces and look through the completely glass rear wall to the vineyards. Very appealing!

What a great day this was! We learned a little something about architecture, a little more about wine making, and we fraternized with our professional compatriots. And we were reminded yet again of what a sensational attribute we have right in our own back yard- the amazing Niagara Peninsula! We can hardly wait to get back!


  1. what great shots! thanks for sharing. cheers ;)

  2. It is proven fact that Niagara-on-the-lake is truly an ideal destination for spending vacations especially for those who are ardent lovers of wines.
    winery tours in niagara