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
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
QPR rating: 90.