The success story of Vincor can be traced back to the year 1874 with the establishment of The Niagara Falls wine company. The company was founded by Thomas G. Bright and Francis A. Shirriff. The company originally started in Toronto but later moved where grapes were actually grown to the town of Niagara Falls ( know for its famous Falls).
Brights' leadership in wine research and development in Canada helped bring Canadian wines to their position of respect around the world. In 1911 the Niagara Falls Wine Company became T.G. Bright & Co., Limited. At that time, the Bright interests bought all of Mr. Shirriff's shares in the enterprise. In 1933, with capacity at four million gallons, Harry C. Hatch bought the Company from the Bright family. Then, Brights produced only four or five brands of wines from native labrusca grapes. These could not be compared with the good wines of Europe—but the Niagara Escarpment soil and weather conditions suggested to Brights' viticulturalists that European vinifera grapes could prosper in Niagara, with its 25,000 acres of grape-oriented soil.
Photo by © Steve Mouck
Meanwhile in 1889 Cartier Wines was founded joining 40 other wine companies in Canada The company became one of the more successful wineries . Like Brights winery, Cartier battle through World War One and Prohibition. Another contributor to the Vincor story was Jordan wines, established in 1920. Jordan had a succession of owners including Seagrams and Rothman's tobacco group. In 1973 Jordon took over Growers Winery in Victoria BC and called the new national company
Jordan & Ste-Michelle. In 1986 Brights Bought out Jordan and Ste Michells and moved all of its products to its own wineries.
In 1964 John Labatt a major brewer in Manitoba plunged into the wine business by acquiring Chateau-Gai in Ontario and the Casabello Winery in BC. In 1965, Labatt's acquired control of the Parkdale Wines Limited and, a year later, Grimsby Wines Limited to establish a position in the growing Canadian wine market Later they purchased Lamont Cellars in California and sent a young man by the name of Don Triggs to manage the winery. It became a profitable winery. Also involved was
Allan Jackson who managed Ridout Wines for Labatts.
Subsequently, Don Triggs became responsible for managing John Labatt's wine businesses in Canada and the U.S. In the 1980s, he ran the North American and then global horticultural business of Fisons PLC. However, his most important career move came in 1989, when he joined forces with his friend, Allan Jackson, to negotiate the management buyout of Labatt's Canadian wine interests.
Allan Jackson joined John Labatt to initiate a wine research program in association with the National Research Council to improve the quality of Canadian table wines. Soon he was responsible for research and quality control for the company's Canadian and American wine divisions.
When Labatt decided to opt out of the wine business in 1989, Allan Jackson and Don Triggs undertook a buy-out of Labatt's Canadian wine interests know as Ridout Wines It included four winery across Canada. Jackson and Triggs marketed their wines under the name Cartier Wines.
In 1992 Cartier Wines acquires Inniskillin which was founded in 1975. On July 31, 1975, Inniskillin Wines incorporated and its founders were granted the first winery licence in Ontario, Canada, since 1929. Established in Niagara-on-the-Lake and taking its name from the early history of the area, Inniskillin was founded upon and dedicated to the principle of producing and bottling outstanding wines from select wine grapes grown in the Niagara Peninsula.
1993 Cartier and Inniskillin merge with T.G. Bright to form Vincor . Also in 1993 they launched their very successful Jackson-Triggs brand
1996 Vincor becomes largest winery in Quebec with purchase of Dumont Vins et Sparitueux
1996 Vincor listed on Toronto Stock Exchange
1996 Vincor acquires Okanagan Vineyards
1996 Acquires London Winery
1997 Acquires RJ Grape Inc.
1998 Acquires Spagnols Wine & Beer Making Supplies Ltd
1998 Acquires Groupe Paul Masson Winery in Quebec
1998 First planting at Osoyoos Lake bench vineyards BC
1999 Establishes Les Clos Jordan Winery and Vineyards
2000 Purchases Sumac Ridge and Hawthorne Mountain Vineyards BC
2001 Purchased Hogue Cellars
2001 Opened their Niagara Winery
2001 Launch R.H. Phillips Products in Canada
2002 Purchase Goundrey Wines western Australia
2003 Purchases Kim Crawford Wines of Auckland, New Zealand
2004 Purchased Amberley Estate Pty Ltd. of Margaret River, Australia.
2004 Purchased Western Wines UK
2012 dropped the name Vincor using Consellation Brands
2012 Introduced the Label "Open"
Vincor International Inc. was taken over by Constellation Brands
Please see Vincor
Mississauga, Ontario, June 13, 2012 – Vincor Canada, the country's leading domestic wine producer, today announced that the company will now operate as “Constellation Brands.” The change is part of a global initiative by Constellation Brands, Vincor's parent company, to align its operating companies in the U.S., Canada and New Zealand under a common name to better reflect its strategy to move to a more unified organization.
“Under the Constellation Brands name, we will continue to work to further the reputation and sale of Canadian wines in all categories working in partnership with our growers and customers,” said Eric Morham, president Constellation Brands in Canada.
“This new, more consistent, company identity allows us to better communicate our collective passion and commitment to building brands that people love,” said Jay Wright, chief operating officer, Constellation Brands.
As part of the initiative, Constellation Brands also launched a refreshed logo to create a more modern look. The logo builds on the brand equity of Constellation's shooting star icon and color palette and now includes the full “Constellation Brands” name. The company identity is now more reflective of Constellation's position as the number one premium wine company in the world, focused on driving profitable organic growth.
About Constellation Brands in Canada
Constellation Brands (formerly Vincor Canada) is Canada's largest producer and marketer of wines. The company's land holdings in Canada's largest wine growing regions, the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia and the Niagara Peninsula in Ontario, are dedicated essentially to the production of European Vitis Vinifera. The Constellation Brands portfolio includes many well known brands such as Inniskillin Wines, Jackson-Triggs Estate Wines, Naked Grape, Sawmill Creek, Robert Mondavi, Ruffino, Kim Crawford, Wallaroo Trail, Linden Bay, Open and President Sparkling. Learn more at www.cbrands.ca or www.cbrandsquebec.ca . The company is wholly-owned by Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE: STZ, STZ.B), the world's leader in premium wine with a broad portfolio of more than 100 wines, beers and spirits.
2016 Nov. Canadian interest bought by Ontario's Teachers Pension Plan The name changed to Arterra Wines Canada.
Also see Donald Triggs
Labatt a brief history
History of Icewine
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Robert A Bell