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Donald Triggs launches his new winery

Former Vincor chief Donald Triggs has launched his new winery, the Culmina Family Estate, in British Columbia's Okanagan.

Culmination: Elaine, Sara and Donald Triggs

, which is derived from the Latin word culmen, meaning ‘peak’, is situated at the western side of the Okanagan Valley’s Golden Mile Bench and comprises 18ha of well-drained gravel and silt soils atop calcium-rich subsoils.

Culmina’s total vineyard area amounts to 21ha, 12ha of which are expected to produce fruit in 2013. At a top elevation of 595m, Culmina lays claim to being the highest vineyard in Okanagan’s south.

Alain Sutre’s Ertus Consulting of Bordeaux was retained in part to help identify appropriate half-hectare micro-parcels, which are planted at a dense 5000 vines per hectare.

Bordeaux-trained Pascal Madevon, a 10-year veteran of Constellation‘s Osoyoos Larose winery in south Okanagan, oversees both vineyards and winemaking.

The Triggs are members of the British Columbia Wine Grape Council’s Sustainable Practice Committee, and are applying its precepts to Culmina

Culmina’s first release, a 2011 Merlot is expected in August 2013, followed by a Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc blend called Hypothesis.

Other planted varieties include Petit Verdot and Malbec, which will find their way into future Hypothesis bottlings, Syrah, Chardonnay, Riesling, Viognier and what Triggs refers to as their ‘wild card’, Gruner Veltliner.

Initial sales will be limited to British Columbia with Ontario and Quebec targeted for 2015, the US and Pacific Rim countries to follow.

Triggs – who was president and CEO of Canada’s Vincor until its acquisition in 2006 by Constellation Brands – is joined by his wife Elaine and their daughter Sara, who has worked at Australian wineries and elsewhere in British Columbia’s wine trade.

Written by David Furer

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