four-cornersFour Corners: The Vineyards and Wineries of New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Colorado
by Starley Talbott (South Afirca 2001)
Plainstar Press
March 2009
182 pages
$24.95

Reviewed by Lawrence F. Lihosit (Honduras 1975–77 )

Starley Talbott’s new book Four Corners: The Vineyards and Wineries of New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Colorado is a prize for wine lovers and travelers. If you have ever considered a road trip around the Southwest, this is the book to take. After a fascinating introductory history about wine making in the Four Corners region, the author methodically studies thirty-five local wineries, offers beautiful color photographs, local history and valuable interviews.

Using Talbott’s guide, one will not only know where wineries (and tasting rooms) are but will already know the proprietor’s names and stories. Armed with that knowledge, a traveler can expect better conversation and maybe a kind gesture.

Good listeners (and readers) are always treated better.  So that you do not get lost along the way, the book also includes a great appendix with wineries listed in alphabetical order by state. This includes names, addresses, phone numbers and even emails. Is life great, or what?

There are those amongst us who think that only commercially published books are worthy of our admiration. I am a member of the Johnny and Janey Appleseed School of Thought. In times like these when the written language is dying, it is time to recruit volunteers to sow the fruits of tomorrow’s culture.

Whether self-published or Print-On-Demand or whatever else you want to call non-commercial publication, it is all good. Just as Johnny Appleseed did not obsess with planting apple trees in straight rows, so we should not obsess with mass production. True, there will be some trees that grow straighter than others. There will be others which bear more colorful or even tastier fruit but the idea is to continue to bear fruit, any fruit. The example itself might inspire others. In 60’s lingo: it may become a grass roots movement.

Lawrence F. Lihosit works as an urban planner. Several of his books and pamphlets are available on-line at www.abookcompany.net.