THE ADVOCATE 523
VOL. 79 PART 4 JULY 2021
Harry was a constant ambassador for B.C. wines and happy to proselytize
his audience to them. Several months before his death, he accepted my invitation
to be a guest speaker at the joint CBABC/CBA Alberta conference,
where he regaled everyone on why British Columbia has come into its own
in the wine world. He was also an expert at “sabering” open a bottle of
sparkling wine (especially Sumac Ridge Steller’s Jay) and loved to demonstrate
his clean cut through the bottle neck.
An officer of the Order of British Columbia and a holder of an honorary
LL.D. from Okanagan University College, Harry died peacefully in his
sleep. I trust it was after an evening of good food and great B.C. wine.
Frank Supernak (1961–2002)
Heroes get remembered, but legends never die
Frank’s sudden and shocking death at age 41 remains one of the B.C. wine
industry’s greatest tragedies. But it is also emblematic of Frank, as he died
trying to save a friend.
After receiving his degree in microbiology from UBC, he gained his winemaking
training at another of British Columbia’s now-defunct wineries, T.G.
Bright in Oliver (now the site of Jackson-Triggs and Inniskillin). He was
lured away in 1996 to work at the newly formed Hester Creek Estate Winery.
To say that it was a challenge understates every aspect of what was necessary.
The vineyard and winery were started a couple of decades earlier
by a somewhat quirky Italian named Joe Busnardo, who planted a wide mix
of varieties, including Trebbiano from Italy. He had the vines in widely