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Checkmate & Martin’s Lane

Checkmate & Martin’s Lane

Bold. Creative. Relentless.

Anthony von Mandl is a visionary with a deep appreciation for beauty, art and whimsy. When no one knew where it was or how to pronounce it, he recognised the potential for British Columbia's Okanagan Valley to emerge as a world-class wine producing region. He has spent his life making it so.

This did not happen overnight. The von Mandl family began their journey over 40 years ago and have created a number of innovative vineyard and winery ventures in British columbia.


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 and are now CheckMate Artisanal Winery vineyards.

Behind closed doors, a daring initiative took place over the past four years. The goal: To make new world Chardonnay and Merlot with old world elegance in North America.

The Wines:

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.

Each of our single-vineyard Chardonnays is vinified in the same manner to highlight the unique expression of terroir.

Each of our Merlots is vinified in the same manner to highlight the unique expression of terroir.

The Visit:

The Installation, A pop-up, by Tom Kundig is now open for tastings - this one of a kind space was designed in with the slow and steady pace in mind, to allow visitors to stop and appreciate the wine and each other. It is reminiscent of many of Kundig’s other works and is centered around indoor/outdoor living. Framing the landscape around it, it flows and never obstructs the natural beauty beauty beyond its floor to ceiling glass windows.

Martin’s Lane

Unconstrained. Anthony von Mandl conducted a global search to assemble a diverse team of experts to help build the most radical pinot noir winery. From New zealand to italy, germany, washington to spain, france to california, each expert in his/her field was selected to realize the creation and construction of this vision.

This project was conceived from the ground up to grow and craft truly exceptional Pinot Noir, leaving no stone unturned, and seeking foremost experts and partners from all around the world. Anthony recruits and inspires everyone to join him on his exhilarating journey.

Some say his is an audacious goal. We say bravo.

This 6-level gravity fed winery, carved and hidden within the steep, striking landscape is a result of these collaborations.

The Wines:

Designed and built to produce world class Pinot Noir. The pinot noir grape is extremely delicate, and nurturing top pinot noir requires skill, experience and vision. Using gravity alone in the winery minimizes external influence on the grapes, and allows the essence of the magnificent fruit to shine. And so to make this happen, our winery was carved into the steep hillside, harnessing gravity alone to enable the most gentle winemaking approach. Entering the winery from the vineyard on the top level, the fruit flows through fermentation, into barrel and on into bottle each time using gravity alone to move them down a level of the building, and simultaneously down the hillside.

winemaking approach is gentle and guiding. We use gravity alone, and five simple movements in our 6-level winery. Our wines are tended, harvested and crafted by hand. We don't interfere. We don't use a single pump. We believe this brings out elegant and complex expressions of Pinot Noir and Riesling.

The Result:

Complex. Textural. Diverse. Three Estate Vineyards. Three Pinot Noirs. Three Rieslings. The wines have already been awarded between 93 and 97 points by Steven Spurrier, the man who put Napa on the map in 1976.

The Visit:

The winery is not open to the public, however we will occasionally open to small groups with advanced booking, so please make a tasting appointment request.