Before any land was purchased by the Triggs, exhaustive research was carried out to evaluate the suitability of potential sites for growing icon quality wine grapes.
With Alain Sutre’s support over the course of an entire year, the Triggs surveyed and evaluated numerous properties around the South Okanagan looking for the ideal property. Finding a south-east facing site in the Golden Mile, the Triggs thought that they had finally the perfect spot. To make sure, they carried out a preliminary round of detailed temperature, water retention and soil analyses on the property to verify its suitability. Later named ‘Arise Bench’ in tribute to the 10 acre plot that Don’s maternal ancestors farmed in Barbados, the initial studies indicated that Arise Bench shared many similarities to the best sites in Bordeaux, including similar Degree Days at 1,516 (vs 1,565 in Bordeaux), and Huglin Index rating of 2,254 (vs 2,190 in Bordeaux).
Realizing that Arise Bench was likely best suited for Bordeaux reds, the Triggs began to look for sites that would also grow icon quality white wine grapes, at locations either further north or higher in elevation than their current site. They then became intrigued by hikes up the adjacent mountainside, wondering whether or not some of the benches located above Arise would be suitable for this kind of development.
As a result, extensive soil and climate studies were carried out in 2008 on this additional parcel of land, resulting in the purchase of two benches situated at three different elevations. The highest, at 595 meters, shared significant similarities with Dijon, including Degree Days of 1,280 (vs 1,279 in Dijon), and propensity for growing cool climate white varieties. It was named ‘Margaret’s Bench’ in honour of Don’s mother. The other, named ‘Stan’s Bench’ after Elaine’s father, stretched north to south along the mountain side, and provided the opportunity to develop both white and red varieties on a complex, dual-elevation bench.