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British Columbia Wine Country
reviewed by Dean Tudor
 (May 1, 2003)

British Columbia Wine Country (Whitecap Books, 2003, 192 pages, ISBN 1-55285-336-5, $29.95 paper covers) is by John Schreiner, well-known west coast Canadian wine writer and Financial Post writer since 1961.

This is his seventh book on wine, and as such it forms a bridge to his eagerly awaited revision to The Wineries of British Columbia, due out next year. The current book is arranged by regions and subdistricts; there are 14 areas, including Vancouver Island, Fraser Valley, Okanagan Valley, etc.

As Schreiner points out, there were 14 winery licenses in 1981. Now there are over 92 licenses, including some five fruit-only wineries – and more are on the way; there will probably be over 100 by the end of the 2003 tourist season.

Material in this book deals with wine touring, wine histories, and local terroir, plus, of course, gorgeous colour photos of the wineries and vineyards. There are also mainly black and white photos of the winemakers (what happened here? too much purple skin tone for colour?). There are sketch maps showing rough locations and narrative prose for short accounts of each region and the wineries. For example, the chapter on Vancouver Island has descriptions of 22 wineries. At the end of each region, the wineries are listed with names, addresses, phone numbers and websites.

Not too cluttered a book, with all of it openly displayed on letter-sized pages. The stories are all told, as a journalist would tell it, through the eyes of the winery owners and winemakers. The book is slick, glossy, with lots of colour, and concludes with an index of winery names (even those which have ceased operations) and people.

What I don't like about this book: hey– there are no tasting notes!! nor even much mention of varietals. And there are no statistics for production, etc.

What I do like about this book: good journalistic style of feature writing.

QPR rating: 90.

 

 

 

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