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Avennia Wine: Leading from the Top

Avennia Wine: Leading from the Top


Posted on Aug 10, 2022

Woodinville Washington winery

Thomas Woodley & Chris Peterson.

A recent trip to Woodinville, Washington gave us the opportunity to catch up with Chris Peterson, winemaker and co-founder at Avennia Wine. Joining Chris was Thomas Woodley, Avennia’s National Sales Director. It was a great opportunity to hear first-hand what is going on within the Washington wine scene from two people who have been an important part of that scene for the past two decades. It was also a chance to taste the current vintages of Avennia’s terrific line up of wines.

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Though still relatively young as a wine region, British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley has come into its own and firmly established itself on the world wine stage. We recently visited the region for the third time in two years and we continue to be surprised and delighted by both new finds and old favourites. On this trip, we explored Mission Hill Estate winery, Checkmate Artisanal winery, Martin’s Lane and CedarCreek Estate winery, along with the new District Wine Village – all of which provide fantastic wine tasting experiences. Here’s a taste of what we experienced:

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Okanagan Valley BC winery Oliver

CheckMate Artisanal Winery.

We first visited CheckMate in September 2020 while the new tasting room was under construction. The wines were brilliant and we made sure that a repeat visit was in order to taste through the current releases, and, almost as important, see how the finished tasting room turned out.

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kelowna BC okanagan valley winery

CedarCreek Winery [source: CedarCreek]

Once you visit a couple of Anthony von Mandl’s half dozen wineries, your expectations rise quickly in anticipation of the next. His portfolio includes Flagship Mission Hill Family Estate, Checkmate Artisanal Winery (producer of Canada’s first 100-pt wine) and the ultra-premium Martin’s Lane. Right next door to the latter is CedarCreek Estate Winery, one of the Okanagan Valley’s ‘original 8’, and an excellent stop in its own right for any wine enthusiast.

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kelowna bc okanagan valley winery

The entrance to Martin’s Lane.

Martin’s Lane Winery in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley is truly a major accomplishment. The property is visually stunning; the winery building is a triumph of both function and form; and most importantly, Martin’s Lane produces some stunning wine.

Martin’s Lane is a part of the Mark Anthony Group, the umbrella over a range of beverage producing companies run by Anthony von Mandl. The group has now grown to several wineries all located in the Okanagan. The flagship, and original winery is Mission Hill Family Estate and the portfolio has expanded through the acquisitions of Checkmate Artisanal Winery, Road 13 Vineyards, Liquidity Wines, and CedarCreek Estate Winery. Martin’s Lane breaks the mould and is the first winery that von Mandl has built as opposed to bought.

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Okanagan Valley BC winery

The Bell Tower at Mission Hill.

The Bell Tower in the distance is unmistakable. As soon as you turn onto Boucherie Road in West Kelowna and drive alongside Okanagan Lake, you see it perched atop a ridge, beckoning you to come have a taste. Head straight for that wine beacon and you’ll arrive at Mission Hill Family Estate, one of the most renown wineries in BC’s Okanagan Valley, and a five-time Canadian winery of the year.

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Woodinville Washington Winery

Time is always well spent at Lauren Ashton.

Spring came late this year where we live. If it even came at all. But good luck shone on us when we recently drove down to Woodinville, Washington and the sun did too! Which made for a very pleasant weekend of meeting with winemakers as well as returning to some of our old favourites to just relax and enjoy their wine. With the weather finally turning warm and the sun shining, we could think of no better place to be than sitting outside in the garden adjacent to the Lauren Ashton tasting room and tasting through their newly released wines.

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