Harry McWatters, CEO of TIME Winery, died on July 23, 2019. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)

Harry McWatters, CEO of TIME Winery, died on July 23, 2019. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)

Prestigious award renamed for late wine industry pioneer Harry McWatters

McWatters died in July leaving an ‘industry in mourning’

Okanagan wine industry legend Harry McWatters has posthumously added yet another award to his collection.

And this time, it even has his name on it.

The Okanagan Wine Festivals Society’s annual Fall Okanagan Wine Festival commenced Oct. 3 with the society’s Founder’s Award being presented to and renamed after Harry McWatters.

McWatters’ family accepted the Harry McWatters’ Founder’s Award on his behalf, in an emotion-filled evening for both the family and McWatters’ team at TIME Winery.

The award recognizes outstanding and selfless contributions to the wine and grape growing industry and is offered as an achievement to pioneers of British Columbia wine.

READ MORE: B.C. wine industry legend Harry McWatters dies

READ MORE: Remembering the character of a wine legend

The award was presented by Christine Coletta, a former winner of the prize, and received by Harry’s children Christa-Lee and Darrien McWatters, and his wife Lisa Lalonde.

“First of all, thank you to the entire industry,” said Christa-Lee McWatters, Harry’s daughter, who is now the president and CEO of Encore Vineyards (Evolve Cellars, McWatters Collection, and TIME Winery).

“I am sure that our dad would have been speechless and overwhelmed with emotion, just like we are. It is such an honour to have this award carry on in his name.”

Christa-Lee added that continuing in her father’s legacy has been challenging from both a personal and business perspective.

“Since our dad passed away, we have been sorting out the business, so much of it was in his head. And we know everyone in the industry is watching. They want to see how we are coping. There are rumours swirling around. But there always are. You know what Harry used to always say: if you haven’t heard a rumour in the BC wine industry by 10 a.m., start one.

“I’ve had to make some hard decisions,” she continued. “Like bringing all three of our brands under one roof; and we are limiting how much fruit we crush this year. I believe these decisions, while tough to get through, are right for the business. Simplifying some things gives us some time to re-group, focus, and take the company in the right direction.”

On Oct. 5, TIME Winery and Kitchen was also honoured on with the Farm to Glass award at the Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards.

“We invite you to come and see us at the winery or pick up a bottle of one of our brands. Together we will raise a glass to Harry, the new Founders Award, the legacy he leaves, and the future we will all create in this industry,” said Christia-Lee.


@michaelrdrguez
michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Justin Kripps of Summerland and his team have competed in Olympic action and World Cup competitions in bobsleigh. (Jason Ransom-Canadian Olympic Comittee).
QUIZ: Are you ready for some winter sports?

It’s cold outside, but there are plenty of recreation opportunities in the winter months

A map released by the BCCDC on Jan. 15 shows the number of new COVID-19 cases reported for each local health area between Jan. 3 and 9. (BCCDC Image)
Salmon Arm and Vernon see increase in new COVID cases, curve flattening elsewhere

The rate of new cases is levelling off in Kelowna, Penticton and Revelstoke.

The Premier Hotel on Summerland’s Main Street and the taxi were owned by Bill and Lydia Johnston. Today, the building is Sass Fashions in Summerland. H.S. Kenyon, who moved the building to Summerland from Midway, continued with building construction. His family now operates Greyback Construction. (Photo courtesy of the Summerland Museum)
Two former Summerland hotel buildings have been moved over the years

Transport of buildings is part of community’s history

Interior Health update. File photo.
86 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

The new deaths are from Heritage Square, a long-term care facility in Vernon

Caroline McKay
COLUMN: Bring books out of hibernation for the new year

Plenty of lesser-known works from famous authors available from the library

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

The organizer of a Kelowna protest against COVID-19 restrictions was fined by the RCMP for the third time Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. (File photo)
COVID-19: Organizer of Kelowna anti-restriction protest ticketed for third time

The individual’s latest ticket for $2,300 was handed out by RCMP at an anti-lockdown rally Saturday

Mount Boucherie Secondary School is one of three Kelowna schools with confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to an update from the school district Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. (File photo)
COVID-19 confirmed at 3 Kelowna schools

Interior Health has confirmed exposures at Mount Boucherie, Springvalley and South Rutland schools

Half of the most expensive homes are on 2080 Mackenzie Crt, which is across the street from Revelstoke Mountain Resort. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
The 10 most valuable homes in Revelstoke for 2020

Combined, the properties are worth more than $35M

Lake Country native Evan-Riley Brown is in the cast for the new film Journey To Royal: A WW II Rescue Mission to be released on video on demand and streaming services on Feb. 2. (Contributed)
Okanagan actor lands role in WW II movie

Evan-Riley Brown, from Lake Country, cast in production labelled as hybrid of a feature film and documentary called Journey To Royal: a WW II Rescue Mission.

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
More than 20 days have passed since the last case of COVID-19 was confirmed at Lakeside Manor. (File photo)
Salmon Arm retirement facility reopens social areas after COVID-19

More than 20 days have passed since last confirmed case at Lakeside Manor

A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Most Read