AUSTRALIAN-BORN LAWYER TURNED INTELLECTUAL WINEMAKER, PHILIP MCGAHAN,
left Williams Selyem in the Russian River Valley, Sonoma, to take up the challenge at CheckMate Artisanal Winery. 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.