Family Affair


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Family Affair


The co-founder of Jackson-Triggs wants to keep working his whole life, but he also wants to spend more time with his wife and daughter. Here’s how he’s managing to do both.

Most of us know the story of the business leader who works tirelessly to build his company into an empire, sells it for an astronomical figure and swiftly retires to “spend more time with family.” Donald Triggs, co-founder of the popular Jackson-Triggs wine label, did things a little differently. He kept working, and that actually allowed him to be around his family more.

When Triggs sold Vincor, at one time Canada’s largest wine company, in 2006, he immediately retired from the company, but he still wanted to work. Yet he also wanted to spend more time with his wife and daughter. So he did the only thing he could do: start a new wine company with his wife Elaine and daughter Sara. They all thought it was a great idea.

“The whole idea of a family carrying on in succession in the business is very appealing and goes back to my roots,” Triggs says. “Some parts of our family we can trace back to five or six generations that have been involved in a family farming business. It’s very rewarding to be able to share your ideas and have discussions with your family and see them grow.”

“It’s very rewarding to be able to share your ideas and have discussions with your family and see them grow.”

In 2011, the Triggs trio launched Culmina Family Estate Winery along the southern Okanagan’s Golden Mile, and so far it’s been a hit – in 2014 all of the company’s wines sold out in eight months, while some vintages are flying off the shelves at an even faster rate this year.

The wine is created with love, says Triggs. He sees Culmina as not only a way to spend meaningful time with his wife and daughter, but also carry on a slightly more glamorous version of the family farming tradition that both he and Elaine grew up with.

While Triggs’ legacy will likely always be tied to Vincor and the wines that still bear his name, Culmina is much more than a second-act hobby for him. It’s a way to allow his family to work together for many decades to come. “I see this as a legacy for my family,” Triggs says. “Not just for my daughter, but for future generations as well.”

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