Builders: Donald L. Triggs

Donald L. Triggs, president/CEO, Vincor International

Donald L. Triggs, president/CEO, Vincor International

There was a time when ‘Canadian wine’ was truck driver slang for ‘windshield washer fluid.’ Thanks to Triggs, that epithet is dead. A Manitoba country boy who had a knack for marketing (his resumé includes Labatt and Colgate-Palmolive) Triggs spearheaded a management buyout of the beer maker’s under-appreciated wine properties in 1989. Along with Allan Jackson, he would found Jackson-Triggs, whose label is the country’s top-selling premium wine today.

‘It is incredible what he has done. He basically took a collection of ragtag Labatt wines that nobody had heard of and he built the most successful wine distribution, marketing, and sales company in Canada.’

Brett Marchand, SVP/MD Cossette Communication-Marketing,

and award judge

‘You think of what Triggs has done in terms of putting Canadian wine on the map, and I’m sure at times they had to be quite bullheaded [because people believed] ‘Canadian wine [is] not good wine.’ He didn’t do it by trying to convince Canadians it was good; he convinced the world it was good wine. I think that is a real smart marketing move.’

John Clinton, president/CEO Grey Worldwide Canada,

and award judge