People and place are what lend time context. We can measure it, but we can’t make it – and maybe that helps gives time a value.
Someone who has given one place (the Okanagan) a great deal of his time is Harry McWatters. 2013 marks his 46th vintage in winemaking – a remarkable amount of time in any industry.
The McWatters timeline includes planting what was in its day the largest vineyard in Canada, purchasing fallow land others shook their heads at in disbelief, and starting unproven Bordeaux reds in the Okanagan desert. Add to that the founding of a quality assurance program (today’s VQA brand), growing one of the most successful wineries in British Columbia (Sumac Ridge, later sold to larger commercial interests), and retiring a few years ago only to restart a second (or third? fourth?) career – still in the wine industry. Bringing the word “meritage” to Canada? Harry did that, too.
If people and place lend time its context, then Harry was meant to launch TIME Estate Winery in the Okanagan.
The winery license was obtained in 2011, and TIME began its first vintage of Chardonnay and Meritage (red and white). The people behind the brand are Harry, partner Bob Wareham, and Dick Cleave, viticulturist. Current vintages have been made under the watch of Township7 winemaker Bradley Cooper, acting as Harry’s hands in the process.
Time, it could be said, is on their side.
2011 TIME Chardonnay $27.99: looks like pale liquid gold; smells like hazelnuts and butter; tastes… like it looks and smells.
2012 TIME Meritage (white) $25: looks like sun-bleached straw; smells like honeysuckle, pear, peach, cantaloupe, pineapple…; tastes bright and beautiful, like a summer day after a sun shower.
2011 TIME Meritage (red) $29.99: looks like garnets drowned in ink; smells like memories of boot leather, cherries and cocoa, sage; tastes like the okanagan.
Wine country isn’t just a place anymore. It’s an attitude.
~ Harry McWatters