Wine Photo Credit: Checkmate Winery

The Coolest Architectural Pop-Up in the West

Checkmate Winery’s summer pop-up tasting room, designed by renowned architect Tom Kundig, is the bomb.

It was 15 years ago that winery owner Anthony von Mandl and architect Tom Kundig first teamed up to build the winery at Mission Hill. At the time Von Mandl was interested in pushing the quality of the still young Okanagan wine region and Kundig was a well respected architect out of Seattle.

Fast forward a decade-and-a-half and, boy, things have changed. The Okanagan now has well over 250 wineries and Kundig has become one of America’s most highly regarded architects. Von Mandl, however is still aiming for the stars and his new winery, the ultra-low production Checkmate, aims to be nothing less than the finest producer of chardonnay in Canada. The label is on a strict allocation to members only so while they don’t need a public facility the way a normal winery would, they nonetheless brought Kundig back into the fold to celebrate the new endeavour. That something is “The Installation,” a pop-up facility in Oliver, designed by Kundig, that will allow the public to try a rotating selection of Checkmate’s chardonnay and merlot.

I’ve had the pleasure of blind-tasting through much of the Checkmate line-up and the wines showed amazingly well against the who’s who of world chardonnay—Meursault, Chassagne-Montrachet, the Sonoma Coast. They’re also amazingly pricey (the most inexpensive bottle starts at around $90) so being able to taste them in a temporary building by Kundig represents just about the most amazing opportunity in the Okanagan this summer. (Highly Instagrammable too!) It will stick around until mid-October and after that—poof—it’ll be gone.

The Installation

4799 Wild Rose Street, Oliver
checkmatewinery.com

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