Welcome to the 30th anniversary edition of Food & Wine Trails.
Keeping a magazine viable is a huge undertaking, especially in today’s world, and we’ve gone through quite a few changes over the years.
Back in 1991, David Gamble founded British Columbia Wine Trails as a consumer magazine. Stories back then were about the growing new wine industry. The magazine was filled with stories about the Okanagan Valley and the people who were creating this brave new wine-making world.
Things were a lot different in 1991. Cars were square-bodied, Canadian-made wines were barely making a dent in world sales, and Kelowna’s Paramount Theatre still showed movies. By 1991, many grape growers had been paid to rip out their vines, and over two thirds of the Okanagan’s vineyards were replanted.
There were a few grape growers and wine makers who still believed in the terroir of the area and their ability to grow grapes and create wines that could compete on the world stage. Sumac Ridge, Gray Monk and CedarCreek were all making quality wines with European grapes.
In the mid-1990s, Mission Hill was awarded the first major international wine award for a table wine in BC. That award woke up the world, and the BC wine industry took off from there.
In 2005, David Gamble retired, and BC Wine Trails was sold to its present owner, Black Press Group. Sommelier Dani Greene became the editor and had some very notable people write for the magazine, including Rhys Pender and Eric von Krosigk.
In 2008, Jennifer Schell took over as editor and the name was changed to Food & Wine Trails. Jennifer has since moved on and has written three cookbooks that have won numerous international awards.
In February of 2018, I was asked if I wanted to be the editor for Food & Wine Trails, and of course I jumped at the offer. I had some pretty amazing people to follow, but thanks to the great team already in place, the transition went fairly smoothly.
BC wineries and restaurants continue to treat their supporters to delicious food and wine that can hold its own on the world stage. From foraging chefs to organic and biodiverse vineyards, the options for food and wine lovers are almost endless.
I am honoured to be a part of this amazing industry and to have met so many dedicated people whose only goal is to please the palates of people around the world.
Cheers, and here’s to another 30 years!