Celebrating International Women’s Day By Virtual Tasting With TIME Winery

International Womens Day logoInternational Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. Significant activity is witnessed worldwide as groups come together to celebrate women’s achievements or rally for women’s equality. The campaign theme for International Women’s Day 2021 is ‘Choose To Challenge. A challenged world is an alert world. And from challenge comes change. (www.internationalwomensday.com)

TIME Winery and the Team

International Women's Day By Virtual Tasting With TIME Winery members and media

International Women’s Day By Virtual Tasting With TIME Winery members and media

TIME Winery is the home of TIME Wines, Evolve Cellars, and McWatters Collection, as well as the McWatters sisters, who are running a family business with a team of women. Christa-Lee McWatters is general manager, and Darrien McWatters is the operations manager. The team at the winery also includes women in the following leadership roles:

  • winemaker Lynzee Schatz
  • hospitality manager Kimberly Hundertmark
  • retail and guest services manager Kerri-Anne Sexton
  • events and marketing coordinator Chelsea Dumayne
  • hospitality supervisors Brittney Vieira & Angelle Sigston
  • controller Becky Marte
  • accountant Alla Gray

General manager Christa-Lee McWatters presented select members of her team via online meeting, and together we tasted their:

  • Evolve Pink Effervescence

and one or more of their:

  • 2018 TIME Wine Meritage
  • 2018 TIME Viognier
  • 2018 Syrah (I tasted this wine.)
  • 2018 Cabernet Franc
  • 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon

A Toast To International Women’s Day

Evolve Pink Effervescence and TIME Syrah 2018

Evolve Pink Effervescence and TIME Syrah 2018

Christa-Lee lead our toast to International Women’s Day with her Evolve Pink Effervescence wine.  She noted that this wine is primarily Pinot Blanc, but does have some Merlot in the sparkling blend.  It is a very bright wine, with flavours of strawberries, watermelon, and citrus.  Very creamy small bubbles and has a peppery finish.  I did sip this wine over our meeting and I noted that flavours of pear, some green bramble or lime, also came out.  Overall a very tasty wine that I recommend. 4 out of 5 stars4.5 out of 5 stars

As part of the toast, Christa-Lee introduced us to her team. It was nice to hear from each of these women tell us about what they do with the TIME Winery family, how long they have been with TIME, and a bit about their careers before joining TIME.  Many have been in the wine and/or hospitality business for many years and are well-respected in their fields.  We were told that Lynzee Schatz joined TIME in 2018 and took on the harvest, so we were tasting her first vintage of wines.  

The TIME Winery Syrah 2018 has grapes coming from Osoyoos, and the wine is aged for 18 months in 1-2 year old French oak barrels.  I really appreciated this wine.  It was soft and had a light mouthfeel.  Blackberries and cedar on the nose. Ripe blackberries and plums on the palate, with cinnamon spice and a mineral streak.  Medium intensity, fine grained tannins.  Many times when you think of a Syrah wine, you expect a big wine with a thick, heavy mouthfeel.  This wine surprised me because the wine had such a light mouthfeel.  It helped make the wine fresh and lively, together with the fresh fruit flavours.  Another wine I recommend. 4.5 out of 5 stars

Questions to the Panel

To wrap up our celebration, the panel were asked a few questions related to International Women’s Day.  Here are some of the questions and the answers from two of the panel.

From Darrien:

1. What woman did you admire that had a position of power that gave you the impetus to engage in current career?

I can’t say there is one. I admired and looked up to my dad for his passion to pursue his hobby and dream and love of wine and food. Role models can be any gender. Moving forward I just hope that I can help pave the way for others that are non binary or LGTBQ2+ to show you can be anyone and any profession you dream.

2. If you could post a billboard on the side of a highway for women to see, what would you want it to say?

Have a collection of different women, cis gender, trans, non-binary, POC, varying sizes and ages. The sign would say: We are all women. We are all strong. We are all valued.

3. If you could post a billboard on the side of a highway for men to see, what would you want it to say?

Same as question #2

4. Is there a book that you can recommend that women should read to help them along in their career?

My future book about just being as authentic as you can be! ? Be true to yourself!!!

5. How hard was it for you to get into your career in the wine business?

Well I was born into it, lol, but that meant you had to prove yourself twice as hard!

From Kimberly:

1. What woman did you admire that had a position of power that gave you the impetus to engage in current career?

Linda Bramble, Wine Educator and Writer, was and still is my wine industry mentor. Very early on in my career we had the opportunity to work closely together and I was fascinated by the way she commanded a room of predominantly male writers and industry leaders. As we became closer I found the courage to ask her what how she did it. She told me quite simply that she recognized there was a glass ceiling in the industry and she refused to allow herself be satisfied with that. From that day on, I too refused to see myself as a woman in the industry but rather as a leader in the industry and not to be afraid the chase roles that men traditionally held.

2. If you could post a billboard on the side of a highway for women to see, what would you want it to say?

International Women’s Day- Ladies, we’ve got this!

3. If you could post a billboard on the side of a highway for men to see, what would you want it to say?

International Women’s Day- Guys if you work a bit harder, you could have a day of your own too!

4. Is there a book that you can recommend that women should read to help them along in their career?

I loved The Secret and most recently Greenlights. More life motivation than career, but a very good read.

5. How hard was it for you to get into your career in the wine business?

Timing is everything. Given it was the early 90’s, there was lots of opportunity to work hard and prove yourself and keep climbing that ladder. To land the roles that I truly dreamed of that were traditionally held by men, was a bit harder. I cleaned up a lot of messes before I was considered first before a male counterpart. First General Manager of a winery in Niagara, First Executive Director of the Niagara Grape and Wine Festival. Both of those roles I am still very proud of but I had to wield a big broom before I could bask in the joy of my success.

Drink Good Wine. That is my motto and I really want to help you drink good wine. What is good wine? That can be a different thing for each people. Food also loves wine so I also cover food and wine pairings, restaurant reviews, and world travel. Enjoy life with me. MyWinePal was started by Karl Kliparchuk, WSET. I spent many years with the South World Wine Society as the President and then cellar master. I love to travel around the world, visiting wine regions and sharing my passion for food & wine with you. Come live vicariously through me, and enjoy all my recommended wines.