There is no doubt that British Columbia’s wines have come a very long way in a very short time, and John Schreiner has been there talking, writing about, and tasting B.C.’s wines since the 1980s.

In ICON Flagship Wines from British Columbia’s Best Wineries, John Schreiner tackles possibly the most challenging wine a winery produces – their icon or flagship wine. It not only says “this is my finest” but that the source of the wine is notable and attention worthy.

Nearly 100 wineries are covered in the book with comprehensive tasting notes, vintage notes, and comments about several back vintages for each icon wine. While the book might quickly drift out of date with each successive vintage of these icons, most of the wines should cellar gracefully or be jealously hoarded for special occasions, meaning most collectors will probably pull down this book from the shelf from time to time when contemplating pulling the cork on something fancy.

Peppered throughout the book are photos by Christopher Stenberg, whose beautiful shots should inspire readers to visit the Okanagan once again very quickly.

I was pleasantly surprised to find both well-known wineries and some quite far off the beaten path included, ranging from regional stalwarts like Burrowing Owl (page 36), Tinhorn Creek (page 286) or Quail’s Gate (page 226), to much more recent offerings in Alberta like C.C. Jentsch (page 44), Culmina (page 70), and Clos du Soleil (page 58).

Ultimately, this is a significant work that clearly proves not only that British Columbia’s wine has come of age, but also that there is a worthy story to tell. This is a book that will look equally good on the coffee table, as it would be wine-stained and well loved near your cellar.

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