Retirement is not an option for Donald Triggs, a key player in the blossoming of Canada’s modern wine industry and co-owner of soon-to-be launched Culmina Family Estate Winery.
A native of rural Manitoba, representing the sixth generation on the family farm, Don left the nest to complete a degree in agriculture from the University of Manitoba and an MBA at Western. He started his career in Ontario doing sales and marketing with Colgate Palmolive. In 1972 he moved to John Labatt’s wine division where his experience ranged from fixing troubled sectors of winery operations to running large wine producers in Canada and abroad.
In the hope of staying in Canada with his family, Don joined Fisions PLC based in Vancouver, taking their troubled North American horticultural division from money loser to industry leader. With the 1989 North American Free Trade Agreement around the corner, Don risked everything. He joined forces with Alan Jackson and former Labatt colleagues who pooled their life savings to buy the brewer’s wine division.
Renamed Vincor International with Don as CEO, it grew to become the biggest wine enterprise in Canada and seventh largest in the world. When Constellation Brands US acquired Vincor in 2006, Don resigned and set out to build Culmina with wife Elaine as partner and daughter Sara as sales and marketing manager.
Don has lured Bordeaux-trained Pascal Madevon (formerly winemaker at Osoyoos Larose) to the promising scenario at Culmina.
Read more of the original stories celebrated in our 30th-anniversary issue.
Sure, the Okanagan’s got unique places to explore and activities to try. But even more fascinating about this landscape are the regular folks — the ordinary, extraordinary people you walk by every day. The ones I found are happy to tell you why they’re here, and about the places and spaces they occupy in the Okanagan.
For Glenn Mandziuk the possibility of any career outside of tourism and economic development was a non-starter. He was literally born into the profession and has used everything he’s learned to make a name for himself and, more importantly, the organizations he’s led.
Relocating to the South Okanagan from the south of France has been overwhelmingly positive for Severine Pinte. Arriving at Le Vieux Pin in August 2010, she has taken over with gusto as head winemaker at the 3,500-case a year operation on Black Sage Road near Oliver.
Behind the development scene there are architects. The Meiklejohn family has been leaving its mark on the Okanagan skyline since 1953.
I’m sitting on a local piece of public art. Don’t try and guess which one just yet, as you can see I’ve taken special care to distort its silhouette by lying awkwardly across it as if I was a bikini clad barista on a break at hot sands beach. I’m performing…
Stirring the pot comes naturally to Heidi Noble. A graduate of the Stratford Chef School, her career included stints at some of Canada’s top restaurants. Looking for a change, Heidi moved out of the kitchen in 2000 and enrolled in a sommelier program…