Nature and the Vineyard
Norman Hardie, Ann Sperling, Darryl Brooker, and Thomas Bachelder
It’s been said that in a good year anyone can make good wine. But what happens when mother nature hits you with changing climate, droughts, floods, frosts, fires and other natural occurrences? How is technology used to help todays growers and winemakers as they strive to craft quality wines while respecting a natural process?
Winemaker, Winegrower, and Viticulturist, Southbrook Vineyards
Ann Sperling is a leading force in the Canadian movement towards organic and biodynamic fine winemaking, Ann has three decades of experience in winegrowing and winemaking, and has played a pivotal role in the development and recognition of skin fermented white (“orange”) wines in Canada.
Ann prefers a vineyard-focused ideology which is passionately applied to her winemaking, from detailed organic and biodynamic grape-growing practices through gentle and meticulous handling in the winery.
General Manager, Mission Hill
Darryl Brooker is General Manager of Mission Hill Family Estate and Sebastian Farms. In this role he is responsible for all aspects of winemaking, viticulture, and guest experiences at Mission Hill Family Estate. He also oversees Sebastian Farms, the von Mandl Family's collection of exceptional estate vineyards located throughout the Okanagan Valley.
Thomas Bachelder makes terroir-specific Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in Burgundy, Oregon, Chile and the Niagara Peninsula of Ontario. He is fascinated with the terroir of Burgundy, but also with the volcanic and sedimentary soils of Oregon, the cool possibilities of Coastal Chile, and limestone soils of the northeast USA and Canada, and the Niagara Bench in particular.
With their two young daughters in tow, Thomas and his wife Mary Delaney have unwittingly become wine gypsies, following their passion to produce terroir-revealing wines from these two most noble Burgundian grapes. Québécois by birth, (& the first ‘Bachelder’ born in Montréal), Thomas’ family hails from the dairy farming belt east of Montréal (l’éstrie), where the Bachelder family owned two farms for as long as anyone can remember. Thomas’ life and career have been deeply influenced by this noble and ‘paysan’ heritage.