The Wineries of British Columbia: Revised and Updated


496 pages
Contains Photos, Maps, Index
ISBN 978-1-55285-983-4
DDC 663'.2009711





Reviewed by John R. Abbott

John Abbott is a professor of history at Laurentian University’s Algoma University College. He is the co-author of The Border at Sault Ste Marie and The History of Fort St. Joseph.


If wine guides were rated by heft, John Schreiner’s The Wineries of British Columbia would top the heavyweight division. In a volume approaching 500 pages, the author surveys about 200 establishments, including 18 that are “under development or below the radar.” He has scoured every established and emergent vinous sub-region of British Columbia, from Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, and the lower Fraser River Valley, to the Kootenays; from the South Thompson River east of Kamloops, through the Okanagan, to the Similkameen Valley. The wineries are listed in alphabetical order, from Aces Wine Group of Naramata (opening proposed for 2009) to Zero Balance Vineyards of Naramata Road, Penticton. In every case, addresses, phone numbers, websites, and business hours head the descriptions. Schreiner’s maps are suggestive rather than precise guides to location. Readers are advised to carry detailed road maps and watch closely for signs marking rural roads, some of which might better be described as tracks.

Schreiner’s strength is his journalist’s inclination to dig out the human-interest stories associated with each of the wineries; readers looking for extensive tasting notes and explicit ranking of wines and wineries should seek other sources of information. The reviewer visited several of the wineries in the summer of 2009, seeking to discover how wine-growers in the country along the Okanagan River managed the culture of white wines such as Riesling, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, and Gewürztraminer, and to taste specimens that rarely if ever find a way into central Canada. Overall, Schreiner’s historical, biographical, and cultural notes were accurate and useful. He lists his recommended wines at the top of each article. While the author is a good guide, one should taste beyond the list, for a unique quality which alienates one imbiber may intrigue or entrance another. A substantial minority of these wineries are in back-country locations of stunning, sometimes austere beauty. This guide will open them up to the inquiring eye and discerning palate.

Highly recommended.



Schreiner, John, “The Wineries of British Columbia: Revised and Updated,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 17, 2024,