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Niagara's Wine Visionaries: Profiles of the Pioneering Winemakers (February 11, 2010)

book review
by Dean Tudor, www.deantudor.com

Niagara's Wine Visionaries: Profiles of the Pioneering Winemakers(Lorimer, 2009, 224 pages, ISBN 978-1-55277-429-8, $29.95 Canadian hard covers) is by Linda Bramble, an Ontario wine writer who is also a certified sommelier. She's taught in the wine program at Brock University, contributed to the Oxford Companion to Wine, and has written four previous books about Niagara and its wines.

Here she tells the story of the emerging Ontario wine economy in terms of its far-sighted winery pioneers. After the opening chapter on what Niagara wine is all about, she begins with pioneer Harry Hatch (Brights), moving on to Don Ziraldo (Inniskillin), who picked up Ontario's first winery licence in decades (1974), Len Pennachetti (Cave Spring Cellars), Paul Bosc (Chateau des Charmes), Paul Speck (Henry of Pelham) and more.

Actually, each biographical chapter provides a framework for the advancement of wine knowledge and history in Ontario. At the back, there are acknowledgments for source materials, and you can dig out a respectable bibliography by reading these pages.

Audience and level of use: Ontario wine lovers, wine schools, libraries.

Some interesting or unusual facts: Some names are not mentioned, but I can read between the lines and I have some insider knowledge.

The downside to this book: There are only two references to "Cellared in Canada" wine, and I wish that there had been more explication since CIC wines represent about half of the grape crop in Ontario.

The upside to this book: A great review of the political process and the ins and outs of wine democracy, and how and why it failed and how and why it succeeded.

Quality/Price Rating: 91 – a must read.

 

 

 

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