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The von Mandl family began their journey over 40 years ago. The first sign of the real potential of the vineyards came in 1994 with a surprise win at the International Wine & Spirit Competition in London for ‘Top Chardonnay in the World.’ The family has developed exceptional vineyards with distinctive Chardonnay and Merlot clones, some of which are now over 40 years old, at what are now CheckMate Artisanal Winery vineyards.
The region is the ecologically pristine Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, Canada, north of the 49th parallel and 105 miles long. Glacial fed lakes stretch along a narrow valley floor at an altitude of more than 1200 feet. As the world warms, cool regions such as the Okanagan Valley provide a new frontier for world class Chardonnay and Merlot. Cooler regions are now consistently providing sufficient warmth during their growing seasons to fall within the climatic envelopes for these classic Burgundian and Bordeaux varietals.
Australian born lawyer turned intellectual winemaker, Philip McGahan left Williams Selyem in the Russian River Valley, Sonoma, to take up the challenge at CheckMate Artisanal Winery. At CheckMate, everything is tended to by hand: all the canopy management, leaf-pulling and cluster-thinning is done manually to ensure precision and gentleness.
Phil set out to make sophisticated Chardonnays and Merlots by meticulously focusing on family-owned and farmed estate vineyards, relentlessly studying and researching rows within them to define micro-blocks. These sites, natural yeasts and artisanal winemaking resulted in a collection of remarkable Chardonnays and outstanding Merlots. He let nature take its course, with no fining or filtration to allow for the full potential of flavour expression.
Please visit CheckMate Artisanal Winery at 4799 Wild Rose Street, Oliver, BC. Reservations not required, but recommended for groups. Active list members taste for free. Winemaker tastings available by appointment.
$45 per person
Enjoy a 60 minute guided experience of 6 CheckMate wines, including four Chardonnay’s and two Merlot’s.
$60 per person
Complimentary for Wine Club Members. Experience a vertical flight of our Fool’s Mate Chardonnay and taste the difference a year can make. This once-in-a-lifetime, guided tasting adventure includes 5 award-winning Chardonnays from the ‘13,’14,’15,‘16, and ‘17 vintage—including a 100 point wine!