OKANAGAN VALLEY, B.C. — CheckMate Artisanal Winery has been awarded a perfect 100-point score for its 2015 Little Pawn Chardonnay. This achievement marks the first time a Canadian table wine has ever received a perfect score.
“This is a momentous achievement for the entire Okanagan Valley,” says Anthony von Mandl, proprietor, CheckMate Artisanal Winery. “It’s exhilarating to taste a wine that reaches this pinnacle of quality. It’s like a beautiful work of art, every sip is telling its story about its origin and its vintage. With each vintage the quality and character of these wines continues to improve. The realization that wines of this calibre are meticulously grown in our family’s own vineyards in the Okanagan Valley make this recognition even more gratifying.”
CheckMate Artisanal Winery was born from a vision to harness he effects of climate change to produce Burgundian-style Chardonnay in the Okanagan Valley. Australian-born winemakerPhilip McGahan was enticed to leave Williams Selyem Winery in Sonoma to come to the Okanagan with the sole purpose of working within this new climatic band for winemaking to craft ‘New-World’ Chardonnay with ‘Old-World elegance’ at CheckMate.
“Winemaking is like the game of chess, it requires the winemaker to think many steps ahead, anticipating the impact each move will have at a later point in time,” says McGahan. “Just like a Grandmaster has a game plan, a winemaker heads into each growing season with a clear vision, a plan for contingencies, and you must stay true to your resolve. When that resolve is to craft world-class wines and you ultimately achieve it, you have truly mastered your craft.”