When Harry McWatters (pictured above in 2013) announced on April 1 that he had sold his beloved Sundial Vineyard and still unfinished new winery I wasn’t all that shocked. I knew it was no April Fool’s joke. I had visited the site just last month and was surprised to see just how far behind it was, considering the originally planned 2016 opening. In fact there was no work happening, as far as I could tell.
The only person I bumped into was Dick (Richard) Cleave, the acclaimed viticulturist and vineyard manager who consults to several premium properties in the valley.
As I went on my way, I thought it was strange there was no sign of activity.
McWatters the Visionary
I vividly recall standing on that 115 acre patch of bare land, listening to McWatters explain to us why he had bought it. And how he was going to make serious red Bordeaux blends. At the time there were very few believers. But Harry was.
It was 1992—a mere couple of decades or so ago, a blink of an eye in wine terms.