PAW PAW — Michigan’s largest and longest operating winery, St. Julian Winery, brought home 16 medals recently from the first ever Judgement of Michigan wine competition presented by the Michigan Wine Collaborative and Lake Michigan College in Benton Harbor.

The event brought together 21 judges – referred to as “The Judging Squad” – including a blend of restaurateurs, media, retail and wholesale representatives from around the state and country to evaluate more than 350 Michigan wines from about 45 local wineries.

“We focused on selecting wine professionals which represented our vision of what the wine industry looks like on the ground; diverse career paths, lifestyles, backgrounds, and impact in the wine industry," said the cooperative's Executive Director Emily Dockery.

Judges awarded a total of eight double gold medals, 33 gold, 58 silver and 76 bronze medals during this inaugural competition. Of those, St. Julian claimed one double gold, three gold, seven silver and five bronze to add to its award portfolio – more than any other winery in the competition.

Double gold: Solera Cream Sherry

Gold: 2020 Braganini Reserve Lake Harvest Vignoles; 2020 Braganini Reserve Serious Rosé; 2020 Braganini Resererve Sauvignon Blanc

Silver: Cock of the Walk; Sweet Nancie; 2020 St. Julian Reserve Pinot Grigio; 2020 Braganini Reserve Grüner Veltliner; WS Blaufränkisch Rosé; 2020 Braganini Reserve Porpetto; 2020 Braganini Reserve Traminette

Bronze: 2020 WS White Cabernet Franc; 2020 Braganini Reserve Mountain Road White Blend; 2020 WS Harvest Select Vidal/Vignoles; WS La Crescent/Traminette; 2020 Braganini Reserve Mountain Road Rosé

“While we regularly participate in wine competitions around the country, it is an honor to be recognized here at home – especially within our own AVA region,” notes Nancie Oxley, vice president of winemaking at St. Julian. “This competition also provided us the opportunity to have our wines tasted by some who may not be familiar with our products as well as introduce our wines to a broader sector within our industry.”

Earlier this year, St. Julian was presented with 6 Medals at the 14th Annual American Fine Wine Competition, 15 medals at the 2021 International Women’s Wine Competition; 8 medals at the 2021 Experience Rosé Wine Competition, and 13 medals – including two “Best of Class” Gold Medals – at the International Eastern Wine Competition.