Trillium Book Award Author Readings June 16

Read Ontario, with Michael Ripmeester

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The World of Niagara Wine

Ontario has a wealth of fantastic writers and amazing stories. This October the Ontario Book Publishers Organization is highlighting a selection of Ontario's finest writing from some of the great Ontario publishers. Pick up an Ontario book and ?Read Ontario!?

But just where does the magic happen? Visit the Open Book: Toronto and Open Book: Ontario websites over the next few weeks to find out how living in Ontario has influenced some of our best authors.

Michael Ripmeester is a professor of Geography at Brock University. Today, he tells us how living in the Niagara region inspired him and his co-editors, Phillip Gordon Mackintosh and Christopher Fullerton, to uncork the stories behind this bountiful wine region. The World of Niagara Wine (Wilfrid Laurier University Press) is a collection of essays that explain the history of wine making in Niagara and explore the significance of the industry to the region today.

Visit a participating Read Ontario independent bookstore to purchase your copy, or click here for details on how you can enter to win The World of Niagara Wine and 41 other Read Ontario books.

Read Ontario: Michael Ripmeester

Chris, Phil and I are members of the Geography Department at Brock University in St. Catharines. Working and living in or around St. Catharines makes grapes and wine impossible to ignore. Vineyards line highways and major roads. Signs point to the Wine Route and local Wineries. The annual Grape and Wine Festival coincides with the beginning of our teaching year. Wine-themed street names dissect new suburban developments. More, the three of us, it goes without saying, have enjoyed local wines and have touched on the subject in our individual research careers.

However, we started to think about The World of Niagara Wine after we attended a number of sessions focused on Geographies of Wine at one of our discipline?s conferences. Within days we decided that we would try produce a book that situated grape growing and wine production in local business, cultural, economic, historical, scientific and social contexts. We would also avail ourselves of local expertise. Given Brock?s location in the heart of Niagara?s grape-growing and wine-producing region, there was no shortage of local expertise. Thus, Brock scholars representing almost every faculty have written a majority of the chapters. Scholars from other places filled the gaps that lay beyond our colleagues? research interests.

Our goal was to produce a manuscript that would appeal to those interested in Niagara wines but also in the wider Niagara region. Thus, the history section examines the early days of local grape growing and wine making, the effect of prohibition on Niagara wines and the economic verities of rural development. Another section explores the history of the VQA, marketing approaches and migrant labour issues. Authors in the section entitled "Vineyards to Bottles" illuminate the science behind growers? use of precision viticulture techniques, the soils and climates of the Niagara Region, the making of ice wine and the art of tasting Niagara wines. The final section puts grapes and wine in the context of local Niagara identity, of tourism and the quest for authenticity, and of local policy initiatives.

Michael Ripmeester is Professor of Geography at Brock University. His most recent research focuses on landscapes of memory and identity. In particular he is interested in the ways in which grapes and wine intersect with memory and identity in Niagara.

Phillip Gordon Mackintosh is an Associate Professor and Chair of the department of Geography at Brock University. His research in urban historical geography includes liberal conceptions of public space in Victorian, Edwardian and Interwar Toronto.

Christopher Fullerton is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography at Brock University. His research interests are focused largely on the dynamics and outcomes of rural land use planning and economic development initiatives, with a particular interest in grassroots-based projects. Prior to entering academia, he worked as a rural economic development practitioner in Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

For more information about The World of Niagara Wine please visit the Wilfrid Laurier University Press website.

Buy this book at your local independent bookstore or online at the publisher, Chapters/Indigo or Amazon.

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