CheckMate Winemaker Spencer Kelly
Our Winemaker

From Soil to Cellar

Winemaker, Spencer Kelly, originally from the small Okanagan town of Kaleden, built his career in some of the most iconic, cult wineries in Napa Valley. After several years in California, the unbridled potential and exceptional quality of the Okanagan Valley called him home.  

Kelly believes each CheckMate wine should reflect the vineyard it is sourced from. We have identified Grand Cru-level areas within our vineyards, and with meticulous vineyard management and thoughtful winemaking, we aim to make distinctive wines that bring the landscape into the bottle.

Hand Harvested
Wild Fermentation
Unfined and Unfiltered
Winemaking Process

The Chardonnay clusters arrive at the winery in small picking containers, where each bunch is inspected​,​ and hand sorted. The whole bunches are then gently pressed. 

Naturally​​​-​occurring yeasts compete as each batch ferments, imparting layers of texture and nuance. Malolactic fermentation gradually softens the wines as they cellar in oak.

During barrel fermentation and maturation, winemakers carefully undertake a regimen of bâtonnage. This periodic stirring of the lees in the barrel refines the texture and mouthfeel of the finished wine. Using a variety of vessels​,​ from French cooperages to concrete eggs, allow​s​ us to bring out texture and complexity.

Finally, the finished wine goes to bottle — unfined and unfiltered, to preserve a complete expression of Chardonnay and the terroir.