Okanagan trip continues, and there isn’t a much better way to start a day of wine tasting than @checkmatewinery!

After our tastings in the Similkameen, we are off to the Watermark, where we are delighted to discover that our townhouse is ready for us, three hours before the official check-in time. Checking in is easy, the staff is behind plexiglass so we don’t have to get close to any people, and we’re off to our townhouse. We are on the second floor this time, which in theory would give us a great view of the lake, but we are behind a bunch of trees so the view isn’t quite what it could be. No biggie, we are thrilled to be here and are going to have a lovely few days of wine tasting and relaxation.

After a lovely dinner at the resort, we hit the sack early as we are both exhausted, and we have a big day planned tomorrow.

And what a way to start the day……Checkmate Artisanal Winery! If not the best winery in the Okanagan, it’s right up there. They are still in the process of completing their multi-million dollar tasting and event centre, and it is going to be something else. If you have visited Checkmate in the last couple of years, you’ve probably experienced the pop-up tasting room that they had created. That is gone now because, well, because it was in the spot taken up by part of the new tasting room!

If you are not familiar with this winery, they produce only two varietals: Merlot and Chardonnay. And they do them very, very, very well.

We are taken to a spot that they have set up for tastings until the full facility is open (probably this fall). It doesn’t feel “temporary” at all, it’s well set up, the hosts are friendly, knowledgable and respectful of social distancing. We get a total of 7 wines to taste, only 1 of which I had previously tasted and reviewed. We’ll start with that one, at this link:

2014 Little Pawn Chardonnay

Now, we already own several of these wines, being club members, but they are in the cellar and we had not tasted any of them until now. It’s exciting to see what we are going to get!

Checkmate 2014 Fool's Mate ChardonnayCheckmate 2015 Attack ChardonnayCheckmate 2016 Queen Taken Chardonnay

Checkmate 2014 Black Rook MerlotCheckmate 2014 Silent Bishop MerlotCheckmate 2015 Opening Gambit Merlot

Safety rating: 9

Nothing unsafe here at all, but since it was indoors, there is always a tiny bit of risk. We got a bit of a tour at the end and got to see what this building is going to be when it’s done, and it’s going to be incredible. We did encounter a few workmen during that tour. We didn’t get too close to them, of course, but still….

Up next: A small interruption in the Okanagan tour report, as we got together with our wine friends for our first theme night in a long, long time (so long that we actually couldn’t remember the last one). A combination night, this time: Germany/Austria!

The Okanagan report will continue as well, our next stop at another perennial favorite, Le Vieux Pin!

Stay tuned!

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Wine blogger, foodie, traveler.

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