July 27th, 2019 – Raise a glass to Harry McWatters.

Harry McWatters dies. Raise a glass.




Harry McWatters died in his sleep in Summerland this week. He was 74.

Harry was one of the singular leaders who paved the way and built the framework for the Canadian Wine Industry.

From opening the first estate winery Sumac Ridge, to the first sparkling wine – Steller’s Jay,

Launching the Okanagan Wine Festival, introducing Meritage blends into our lexicon, Launched BC VQA, the BC Hospitality Foundation, founding chair BC Wine Institute, Director BC Vintners Assn, started Encore Wines, Time Wines, McWatters Wines.

Vintage Consulting, Time Winery and Kitchen.

Harry had just celebrated his 50th vintage..and the first year for his downtown winery in Penticton.

Harry McWatters


On and On.

We’ve all  lost a leader and a great friend.

This tribute to Harry consists of moments from the many interviews we did together.

Starting with one of my first for Tasting Room Radio –  Summer 2007. In Penticton after Harry had swept the wine awards.

Cheers Harry.



In honouring the builder and legend Harry McWatters, I felt the feature also needed another voice other than mine.  It was a natural move to pick up the phone and talk to Christine Coletta. Co-Founder of Okanagan Crush Pad and one of BC’s  current  wine leaders.


She was also a dear friend of Harry’s and as she explains..there would be no Okanagan Crush Pad or Christine Coletta in the wine business without the guidance and support of Harry McWatters in the early years.

I’m so pleased  I made the phone call.


Interstellar Rodeo.  Pairing live music and wine   with Gurvinder Bhatia

The last segment of the show is a yearly story for Tasting Room Radio.

First there’s Gurvinder Bhatia..Quench Magazine Wine Editor, Global TV (Edmonton)  Wine Columnist, International Wine Judge, Italian wine  specialist and friend of Harry McWatters. And then there’s Interstellar Rodeo this weekend in Edmonton.

Gurvinder Bhatia

It features a wide portfolio of artists..some “artists to watch for” and many artists who’ve created their own fan base over many years of recordings and touring.  Headliners and those who want to be headliners.

Artists include Whitehorse, Rheostatics, Aloe Blacc, Sheila E, Southern Ave, Lucius, Asleep at the Wheel, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats,

Gurvinder studies the music of each and then pairs his best wines to match the vibe and texture of the music.


Even if you can’t attend..you can find the artists on the Interstellar Website with their matching wines..and do your own Rodeo.



Here’s the link






Jim Cuddy – Cuddy by Tawse Wines

A special feature on “field blends”

Willie Mitchell & Brendan Morrison  speak out on their/our  role in saving fishery

Chris Tolley Moon Cursor

Fort Berens

Andrea Sartori and 121 years of Italian Winemaking

Jason Priestley – 90210 and his California wine.

Parking in The Passion Pit  with John Weber at Orofino!