Checkmate has one goal: to make new world wines, with old world elegance, from its home in the South Okanagan Valley.
The Von Mandl family began their journey at Checkmate over 40 years ago, but the first real sign of their vineyards' potential came in 1994, with a surprise win at the International Wine & Spirit Competition, where their Chardonnay scooped the title of 'Top Chardonnay in the World'. In the years since Checkmate's inception, the family has developed exceptional vineyards with distinctive Chardonnay and Merlot clones, some of which are now over 40 years old.
Their home is the ecologically pristine Okanagan Valley, in Canada's British Columbia. Here, glacial fed lakes stretch along a narrow valley floor at an altitude of more than 1200 feet. As climate change takes hold, cooler regions such as the Okanagan Valley are providing a new frontier for world-class Chardonnay and Merlot. Now, these regions are able to provide sufficient warmth during their growing seasons, to fall within the climatic envelopes for these classic Burgundian and Bordeaux varietals.