Wine Culture Magazine

O’Rourke Family Estate’s first vintage takes home top 10 honours at Chardonnay du Monde

O’Rourke Family Estate’s winning Chardonnay.

Perched atop 300 acres of ancient soil overlooking Okanagan Lake in beautiful Lake Country, O’Rourke Family Estate isn’t even open to the public yet, but is already raking in the awards for its Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Its most recent recognition: placing in the top 10 at the prestigious Chardonnay du Monde competition held March 8 to 10 in Burgundy, France.

The 2020 O’Rourke Family Estate Chardonnay received top honours from an esteemed panel of international wine judges. It was the sole Canadian winery to be recognized in the top 10. 

The judges tasted 537 wines from 32 countries, in accordance with the international rules and strictly following Quality Assurance procedures. After three days of tasting, they awarded 178 medals—55 of them gold and 123 silver. (Canada took home a total of 11 medals, three gold and eight silver.)

Winemaker Nikki Callaway is developing a global reputation for crafting exceptional Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

Winemaker Nikki Callaway, who has received her fair share of international recognition through the years, is extremely proud that this inaugural vintage has already put O’Rourke on the world map.

“I could not be more excited for our entire team to have received such an esteemed award so early in our journey,” Callaway says. “The fruit in the Lake Country sub-GI is truly exceptional and we simply let nature lead the way to showcase the elegant characteristics that Chardonnay is known for.”

The winery itself is expected to open to the public in spring of 2025 and will feature an experience like no other in Canada, including a winding network of underground caves, full complement of sensory tasting experiences, onsite accommodations, event space and multiple dining options. While construction is underway, guests will be able to sample the wines and meet the team at various private events and experience a vineyard vacation in their log home nestled among 100 acres of estate vines. 

Meanwhile, it seems that proprietor Dennis O’Rourke’s vision for the winery is already becoming a reality—to be in a class of its own.

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