Harry McWatters

Quote: Harry McWatters:

"This is truly a milestone, and it's not just one for me, but for the induscotry. People didn't believe that we'd one day have an industry like we do now, but we survived. Fortunately, there were a number of us that banded together, that were stubborn enough to say that we're not giving up. We created the BCWI and VQA Canada in 1990, which brought about meaningful standards for our industry. My challenge to the industry of today is that we must continue to raise the bar so that we can make sure our customers have great confidence in what's in the bottle."


Harry McWatters Inc. – President

Vintage Consulting Group Inc . - President

Okanagan Wine Academy - President

Sundial Vineyard Ltd. – President

Sumac Ridge Estate Wine Group – Founder

Fortis Inc. – Director

Electromotion – Chairman

British Columbia Jobs and Investment Board - Director


Past Activities

British Columbia Wine Information Society – Founding President

British Columbia Wine Institute – Founding Chairman and current Board Member

British Columbia Hospitality Foundation – Founding Chairman, Director

Fortis BC – Director, Former Chairman

Okanagan Valley Estate Wine Cellars Ltd. - President

VQA Canada – Founding Chairman

Okanagan Wine Festival – Founding Chairman

British Columbia Progress Board – Director

Brock University Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute – Co-Chair

Pacific Agriculture Research Centre Advisory Committee – Chairman

University of British Columbia's Wine Research Advisory Board – Member

Society of Wine Lovers – Director

Society of Wine Educators – over 25 years, former Director and 1987 Conference Chairman

Cuisine Canada – Advisory Committee

Sectoral Advisory Group on International Trade (SAGIT) – Canadian Sector advising group on international trade for agriculture – Members appointed by the Federal Minister of Agriculture

Summerland Chamber of Commerce – Past President

Queen Elizabeth and Harry Mcwatter

Significant Accolades

2017-  recipient of the 2017 Spirited Industry Professional (SIP) at the Vancouver International Wine Festival

2013 – Awarded the Diamond Jubilee Medal of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

2011-2013 – Honorary Chairman for Canadian Culinary Championships

2008 - Award of Distinction – Canadian Vintner's Association

2007 – City of Penticton names McWatters one of the “20 Most Influential People of the Century”

2005 – Inducted into the British Columbia Restaurant Hall of Fame

2003 – Awarded the Order of British Columbia, for outstanding achievement

2003 - Winery of the Year for the Pacific Northwest

2002 – Awarded the Golden Jubilee Medal of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

2001 – Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree – Okanagan University College

2001 – Wine of the Year – Sumac Ridge Chardonnay – All Canada Wine Competition

1999 – Top Winery of the Year (for consistently high quality) Globe & Mail

1998 – Winery of the Year – Anthony Gismondi – Wine Access magazine

1998 – Summerland Chamber of Commerce President's Award

1996 – “Marketer of the Year” for North America (first British Columbian and second Canadian) – awarded by the North American Agricultural Marketing Officials

1995 – “Associate Member of the Year” – Okanagan, Canadian Restaurant & Food Service Association

1994 – “Associate Member of the Year” – British Columbia Region of Canadian Restaurant and Food Service Association

In 1993, Harry McWatters and Bob Wareham purchased and planted 115 acres of fallow land on the Black Sage Road. Through one international wine competition after another, the site proved ideal for Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, and other vinifera vines. Seven years later we dedicated 60 prime acres of this land to become what's now known as the Sundial Vineyard. 

The McWatters Collection was launched in 2011 with a Meritage and Chardonnay, crafted from grapes grown at our estate Sundial Vineyard. These two flagship wines represent the entirety of the portfolio and are created as a legacy to the McWatters name, with the ultra low production of these premium wines determined by the low yields in the vineyard.

TIME Estate Winery launched in June 2013 with a select line of wines crafted from the vinifera at our estate Sundial Vineyard. The TIME portfolio includes both a red and a white Meritage blend, plus a number of distinct single variety wines as our vineyard's planned moderate yields permit. 

Evolve Cellars opened May 2015 and celebrates the evolution of our British Columbia wine industry with a series of fresh, approachable wines. Fruit-forward and bright, these wines are crafted from our estate vineyard and grapes grown by our grower partners in the South Okanagan. Through Evolve we raise a glass to our collective journey, and what the next step may bring.

Harry McWatters passed away on July 23 2019.

Awarded the BC's Founders award 2019


return to Harry McWalters

Donald Triggs ~ Donald Ziraldo ~ Karl Kaiser ~ The Pioneers


Christa-Lee McWatters Bond Director of Marketing & Hospitality
Time Estate Winery
John Schreiner
Wines of Canada

Wineries of Canada

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