New winery coming along

A downtown winery being built at the former PenMar Theater site on Penticton's Martin Street is quickly taking shape.

Harry McWatters, co-owner of Time Winery,  said everything is going according to plan, and the hope is to open this spring.

"Work is progressing well," he said. "And I am excited, but will be a lot more excited when it's the day before it opens, not a couple of months before."

McWatters, an Okanagan wine pioneer who was recently recognized at the Vancouver International Wine Festival, said they decided to purchase the site last year, after going into the old theatre.

"When we went in and turned the lights on, I saw it was bigger than I remembered," he said. "I thought we might be able to make this work, so we made a deal with the owners for us to purchase the land and building and make it a winery."

Work started at the site in June 2016, with seismic upgrades proving to be an onerous task.

"If we actually have an earthquake, it's the place I want to be – with lots of wine in a very safe building," he said.

McWatters said they have a manufacturing permit, but will still need to get a liquor permit.

Once the work at the site is completed, it will be a state-of-the-art winemaking production facility.

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