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Column: Exciting Developments at TIME Winery

New faces and new wines at a Penticton winery.

There’s been a great deal of exciting new developments at TIME Winery and Kitchen in downtown Penticton. After TIME’s founder and the grandfather of the modern BC wine industry, Harry McWatters, passed away in July 2019, the winery was bought by Ron and Shelley Mayert. The new owners were thrilled to enter the industry and to grow from the legacy that the McWatters family has created. They brought fresh eyes to the project and were keen to build relationships with industry partners, winery customers and a family of talented employees.

Take TIME’s winemaker Lynzee Schatz, for example. While she has been in the wine industry for 18 years, she joined TIME Family of wines in 2019 as winemaker and has overseen the three wine brands (Evolve, Chronos and McWatters Collection) since then.

“I am excited to release and share the 2020 Chronos red wines which will be the first red wines for the Chronos label,” she announced.

Cabernet Franc is the fourth most common red grape planted in BC with 12% of the plantings.  Cab Franc grapes were handpicked and sorted and whole-cluster fermented. They were left on the skins for ten days and matured in 20% new French oak for 16 months.

When you uncork the 2020 Chronos Cabernet Franc (approximately $30; 91 points, Outstanding) you’re greeted by a lovely popping sound that you expect when you uncork of a fine bottle of wine.

Everything about this wine has depth and complexity. There’s a deep dark opaque ruby in the glass with a variety of appealing scents: red and black berries, vanilla, violets, cigar box, earthy aromas, and spicy tones. The full-bodied red has flavours of raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, cherries, herbs, and a hint of red chilies. The tannins are firm and there’s good minerality ending on a very long fruity finish. Decant for two to three hours.

Pair with any barbecue: burgers, Portobello mushrooms, smoked chicken grilled tuna, or paté and terrines.

The release date is tomorrow October 1st and is available at the winery in Penticton and at the District Wine Village in Oliver as well as Save-On Food VQA stores.

The home base for the TIME Family of Wines's four wine labels is at TIME Winery & Kitchen in Penticton: McWatters Collection, TIME Winery, Evolve Cellars, and their new premium label, Chronos named after the Greek god of time.

Also on the list of upcoming red wines are Chronos Merlot, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon.

There have also been creative changes in the kitchen with a new chef and a new menu. Executive chef Damian Cole from sunny Jamaica and the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge leads with new dishes that pair well with TIME Family of Wine wines. Recent menu items include jerk chicken tacos with Okanagan fruit salsa alongside the tangy vegan-friendly Triple Dip of bruschetta, garbanzo hummus, olive tapenade and grilled flatbread.  Look for more new items such as coconut curry clams with roasted peppers, grilled focaccia, tomatoes, and coriander, and steak with street corn, roasted tomatoes, pickled red onion, and chimichurri.

And there’s some more good news. The winery’s tasty Original Burger with house-ground chuck and brisket patty, pacific rock cheese, bacon jam and crispy fried onions will be on the menu indefinitely!

At TIME Family of Wines, the team has made some exciting growth in the front-facing and behind-the-scenes areas of the winery. Kevin Curtis is the new sales and marketing director, Will Roberts is the direct-to-consumer coordinator, Tom Swope is the restaurant manager, Kelly Mitchell is the corporate sales coordinator and Maja Syska is the lead cellar hand.

And the good news keeps coming.  TIME Family of Wines has opened a second location at the District Wine Village in Oliver. There’s a daily tasting from noon to 7 pm as well as new Vintage tastings and food on the weekends. From a weekly night market to live music from amazing artists, the District Wine Village is a must-visit destination!