Harry McWatters – One Tiny Vine…

Midnight Musings from our CEO

Much has been written over the past week about the passing of a man that was instrumental in putting this region, province, and country on the world stage. Harry McWatters had a vision and a passion that began decades ago with a small winery that ultimately turned into an internationally respected wine industry.

I can’t help but wonder if he ever imagined in those early days the long term impact of his dreams. As he worked in the blazing summer sun, nurturing a Summerland vineyard, developing an image and brand, striving to gain respect for the products of Canadian wine producers and digging to uncover potential markets, could he ever have imagined what was to come?

While we applaud all that Harry accomplished throughout his life and certainly over the past 40 years, I cannot help but reflect on those days and nights when he had setbacks and worries that may have deterred a less determined individual. Never underestimate the amount of sacrifice,  disappointment and perseverance that comes with blazing a trail, driving an industry, and being a true entrepreneur.

Without question as the years go by, this man will be revered as a pioneer and his legend will live on but more importantly I hope he will be remembered as a man, a very determined man. I hope he will be seen by those that follow in the decades to come as an example of what you can grow out of one tiny vine if you are focused and brave enough to do so.

Harry will be remembered today and into the future as a legend, but I will remember him as the real thing.

Glenn Mandziuk, TOTA President & CEO

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