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PHOTOS: Bottle sabering, barrel thieving offered at newly opened Penticton tasting room

Chronos tasting room, which once was the historic Pen Mar theatre has opened on Martin Street

It’s showtime for the Time Family of Wines’ Chronos tasting room, transforming Penticton’s Pen Mar movie theatre into an elegant tasting room and barrel cellars.

What was once theatre No. 1, is now the barrel room which still holds the projector room above and over 100 wine barrels below.

The movie theatre’s original beams were restored and remain throughout, but now luxurious chandeliers hang from them. The garage-style doors separating each ‘theatre’ can be opened which creates for intimate winemakers long table dinners, wine education seminars and sabering school.

“Even during harvest, our floors don’t get as sticky as they were during the Pen Mar days,” joked Time Winery’s Christa-Lee McWatters who spoke at the tasting room’s grand opening on Wednesday, July 19.

Like Orolo’s restaurant that opened a few months ago next door, Chronos tasting room wants to offer visitors an experience.

You can sabre a bottle of bubbles, taste from the barrel with the barrel thief or try your own curated wine pairing.

Under the stewardship of winemaker Lynzee Schatz, Chronos Brut just won best sparkling in the Cascade International Wine Competition.

“We are very much about sparkling over here and will be doing more bubbles which is exciting,” said McWatters, daughter of B.C. wine pioneer Harry McWatters. At Chronos, the McWatters Collection is also available.

The Chronos Brut is the bottle you can sabre during the tasting experience. Those dining at Orolo also has the chance to sabre some bubbles if they are buying the Chronos Brut for dinner.

Theatre No. 4 is the actual Chronos tasting room.

The tasting room is full of green plush, high-back booths for a sit-down tasting of the wines from the Time Family Wines, like the Chronos 2020 off-dry Riesling that received gold at the All Canadian Wine Championships or the Evolve’s Pink Effervescence that won gold at the All Canadian Championships.

The Pen Mar shut down in 2012 and the McWatters completely revived the theatre in 2018, turning it into South Okanagan’s first urban winery.

“We are celebrating our five-year anniversary this month,” said McWatters.

Always evolving and expanding, Time Winery had its biggest transformation recently at the Martin Street location with Orolo Restaurant and Cocktail Bar, which was a new built and opened in March.

Chronos tasting room is open daily from 12 to 6 p.m. at 361 Martin Street.

READ ALSO: ‘In good hands’: Penticton’s historic CPR Station gifted to OneSky Community Resources

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Monique Tamminga

About the Author: Monique Tamminga

Monique brings 20 years of award-winning journalism experience to the role of editor at the Penticton Western News. Of those years, 17 were spent working as a senior reporter and acting editor with the Langley Advance Times.
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