Jackson-Triggs co-founder Don Triggs and his wife Elaine and daughter Sara announced the opening this week of the Culmina Family Estate Winery in the Golden Mile Bench, Trigg's long-awaited passion project. It's a labour of love that's taken several years to bring to fruition after the purchase of the land in 2007: two years researching sites and conducting soil analysis with Bordeaux-based winemaking expert Alain Sutre, two more years growing and testing grapes using sustainable methods until the vines produced the highest possible fruit
Spread across three sites, the Arise Bench, Stan's Bench and Margaret's Bench Culmina covers over 100 acres, 56 of which are cultivated with 2.044 vines per acre - nearly double the region's average thanks to a European-style technique which forces the roots deeper into the sub-soil for water and nutrients.
Classically-trained winemaker, Pascal Madevon, with some 20 years Bordeaux and South Okanagan winemaking experience is at the helm. His first creation is a Bordeaux-style blend (Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon) called Hypothesis. Other varietals include Chardonnay, Riesling and the Gruner Veltliner to be planted in the Okanagan. For opening, Culmina will release Hypothesis, the Bordeaux blend, a Chardonnay named Dilemma, and a rosé in the Saignée style. Next year will see the release of the Gruner Veltliner and Riesling.