Editor’s pick

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St. Julian Winery
St. Julian Winery Courtesy St. Julian Winery
Charlsie Dewey
Managing Editor, Grand Rapids Magazine Courtesy Rachel Idzerda

I recently received four bottles of wine from St. Julian’s Braganini Family Reserve Wines label. While St. Julian is a well-known Michigan winery, I had never sampled any of its wines previously, so I was excited to see how its products measured up to the wines I typically drink.

Of the four wines I tried, the standout for me was the Braganini Family Reserve 2017 cabernet sauvignon. I am a big cabernet fan and I liked how smooth and flavorful this wine was. The full-bodied wine has “distinctive flavors of dark cherries and blueberry jam with a toasty oak finish.”

I emailed Justin Weeks, wholesale marketing director for St. Julian’s, to find out more about why this wine is so smooth and tasty, and he said much of it had to do with the climate in 2017.

Grown at St. Julian’s vineyard in Coloma, the area experienced “an extremely hot, dry year for southwest Michigan, perfect for growing grapes.”

He added, “We had a low yielding vintage, so grapes were incredibly concentrated, making this a delicious cool climate cabernet sauvignon. Since the 2017 vintage was so remarkable, we planted 2 more acres of cabernet sauvignon at this vineyard, for a total of 5 acres.”

He also noted this wine was “one of two red vinifera wines to receive a Double Gold Accolade at the 2019 Michigan Wine Competition.”

Find out more about St. Julian wines at stjulian.com.

This story can be found in the January 2021 issue of Grand Rapids Magazine. To get more stories like this delivered to your mailbox each month, subscribe here

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