Although located in the heart of Downtown Penticton, we can’t simply describe TIME Winery & Kitchen as an “urban winery”. It is so much more!
A Legacy in the Okanagan Wine Country
Built within a historic and revitalized movie theatre space, the full-on winery is also the home to the 3 labels: TIME Winery, Evolve Cellars, and the MacWatters. An elegant wine tasting bar and a restaurant are also on the premises, where you could taste and discover delicious wine for any occasion, as well as some of the best gourmet burgers in the Okanagan.
Many would recognize the McWatters, a family name that has created over 50 vintages in South Okanagan. Harry McWatters, a legendary figure in the Okanagan wine industry, is behind this new establishment started in 2018. Harry passed away in July 2019 but the legacy lives on.
I was so honoured to receive a warm welcome from Christa-Lee McWatters, daughter of Harry and the CEO and president of the business. She is also the current chair of the BC Wine Institue & a director of the Canadian Vintner’s Association. Just like her father, Christa-Lee has collected an incredible amount of experience growing up and knows everything about winemaking. She carries on the legacy by exploring new business opportunities, as well as supporting many charitable causes throughout the Okanagan and beyond.
Known for her love of bubbles and amazing hospitality, Christa-Lee poured us each a glass of Evolve Pink Effervescence before taking us on a tour around the winery. The sparkling wine is just perfect for a hot summer day like this.
It is truly impressive to discover how they have re-purposed the entire space, which once housed 4 theatre rooms, into a fully functioning winery. We toured around and located the crush pad, the facilities, the cellars, and the laboratories. There are many cool spaces that can be used to host events for special occasions. Barrel Tasting is available onsite. There is even a Sabre School tasting, from which you can learn how to sabre a bottle of sparkling wine for such a fun, exhilarating experience. How cool is that?
The tour was followed by an amazing lunch at the restaurants. We sample 2 of Chef AK Campell’s popular burger creations.
“The Original” TIME Burger ($21.50) packs such tremendous flavours and is near a burger perfection. It’s topped with a 1/2 lb house-ground chuck & brisket patty, aged cheddar, dill pickles, crispy onions, bacon jam, smoked pepper mayo, arugula, & sesame seed buns supplied by the local Petrasek bakery. The fries are also incredible. Even the house-made ketchup made with house merlot gives a ton of great flavour.
Lamb burger lovers shall not miss the Lamburgini ($24.50), which features a 1/2 lb house-ground lamb leg & pork patty, sliced provolone, grilled zucchini & red onion, lemon yoghurt sauce, fig jam, arugula, and the same artisan sesame seed buns. The taste is exotic but elegantly balanced with all the fresh ingredients. The patty is fully cooked but super moist from the little bit of lamb fat. My buddy ordered the lamb burger with a side of Parm Fries, which are triple cooked, tallow fried, and topped with parmesan crumbs and cracked pepper, and with the black garlic mayo as the finishing flavour bomb on the side.
Christa-Lee offered one of the best in the winery for pairing with the burgers. The 2016 TIME Syrah is perfect for pairing with red meat, especially the lightly gamey lamb with its bold ripe fruit aroma and rich and slightly peppery favours.
After lunch, Christa-Lee walked us through the wines she picked according to our preferences. With a tolerant palate, I wouldn’t say no to tasting the entire menu!
The 8 wines I tasted are all brilliant & delicious in their own way. From the refreshing 2018 Elevate Ehrenfelser with tropical fruit notes designated for pairing exotic Asian food, the off-dry 2018 TIME Riesling with a delicious mineral aroma that is perfectly balanced for the taste, to the flag-ship Bordeaux style 2017 Meritage which is bold but super elegant on the nose and the palate. Whatever you need, they would have a bottle for the occasion.
I ended up getting myself a bottle of the Meritage, a collectable wine that’s tremendously delectable and an impeccable representation of the legendary wine-making effort from the MacWatters of generations.
TIME Winery is a truly impressive destination in the heart of Downtown Penticton, with such a beautiful historical space that’s re-vitalized to facilitate full-on winemaking. The wines here are beautifully crafted, and the food is fantastic. But what makes this visit so special is to the incredible experience of the MacWatters legacy, something you should know if you truly love BC Wine. The legendary winemaker family’s longstanding reputation is irreplaceable, and will always be honoured in the BC and Canadian wine industry. This is such a timeless tasting experience. I’m extremely grateful.
TIME Winery & Kitchen
361 Martin St, Penticton, BC V2A 5K6
(236) 422-2556 or timewinery.com
* All food and beverage items tasted in this post were complimentary. Opinions are on the reviewer’s own.