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Penticton  

'Godfather of BC Wine' dies

Harry McWatters was a well-known winery operator in the Okanagan, widely regarded the "godfather of B.C.'s wine industry" and the man behind Encore Vineyards. On Tuesday afternoon, it was announced on social media that he has passed away. 

Time Winery called it a "shock."

"Harry passed away peacefully in the comfort of his Summerland home during his sleep on July 23, 2019," they wrote on their Facebook page. 

"Harry’s sudden passing comes as a surprise to all as he was only last week celebrating the success and anniversary of our downtown Penticton winery, Time Winery & Kitchen."

They said memorial details will be available soon.

McWatters is known for founding Sumac Ridge Winery in Summerland — B.C.'s first estate winery — in 1980. He also led numerous other wine-related projects, serving as the founding president of the Okanagan Wine Festival Society, first chair of the B.C. Wine Institute and more. He was awarded the Order of B.C. in 2003.

McWatters has overseen more than 50 vintages of Okanagan-made wine



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