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St. Julian Receives Grant to Grow Premium Wine Production

Paw Paw, MI - With the support of Market Van Buren, St. Julian Wine Co., Inc. has secured a $100,000 grant from the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development (MDARD) to grow premium wine production and enhance production efficiency by adding a new centrifuge to the production process. The impact of this centrifuge goes far beyond the success of the winery and will cause a ripple effect on the community as a whole.

“At St. Julian, we approach each harvest with the goal to make wines that can compete on a world stage,” said Nancie Oxley, Vice President-Winemaking at St. Julian. “The extensive investments in winemaking equipment are game changing for us during our most busy time of the year, increasing efficiencies throughout the winemaking process. We are excited that MDARD selected St. Julian to receive a grant supporting our investments. The new centrifuge for premium wine production will allow us to continue our passion for innovation in an increasingly competitive wine market.”

New centrifuge

St. Julian’s current annual wine production is approximately 1,000,000 gallons, and the centrifuge will serve as a catalyst to increase the wine production volume and product distribution. Adding the wine centrifuge will increase premium wine production by five percent.

St. Julian processes more fruit than they need for their branded wines, so excess raw product is distributed to other wineries for use in their production. Their current bulk customer list exceeds 100 wineries, but adding the premium centrifuge will grow the list with several new customers in the upcoming year. St. Julian also produces private label products for wineries, and the centrifuge will allow for these bottled products to be priced more economically, which will allow St. Julian to add new private label customers.

The community will benefit from this grant as 8,000 pounds of solid waste can be found in the local wastewater system after the current aggregate wine production process. The new centrifuge will produce approximately 2,000 fewer pounds of solid waste, which will positively impact the Village of Paw Paw’s sewer water systems and will reduce recycling costs at the treatment facility.

“We are continuously evaluating ways to improve the sustainability of our local utilities. We appreciate St. Julian’s forward thinking and that this grant will have the benefit of reducing their use of this village’s wastewater system,” said Will Joseph, Village of Paw Paw Manager. “Market Van Buren’s support in applying for this grant was key to it being awarded, and we appreciate the expertise they bring in supporting local businesses to pursue grant opportunities like this one.”

“This was an opportunity to support both our private and public sector investors. Both St. Julian and the Village of Paw Paw are investors in economic development, which enables us to help companies like St. Julian win grants and impact local communities,” said Sarah Snoeyink, Programs and Projects Manager with Market Van Buren. “This is why we exist. Our purpose is to create an environment for economic growth in Cass and Van Buren Counties, and this grant accomplished just that.”

About St. Julian Winery & Distillery

St. Julian Winery & Distillery is Michigan’s largest and longest-operating winery and has been family-owned since its founding in 1921. In addition to the winery in downtown Paw Paw where they produce hundreds of award-winning wines, sparkling juices, spirits and hard cider, St. Julian Winery & Distillery also offers tasting rooms in Dundee, Frankenmuth, Rockford, Troy and Union Pier and distributes to thousands of retail partners throughout the Midwest.

About Market Van Buren

Market Van Buren is a nonprofit focused on connecting people, investments, and organizations with strategies and services that improve the quality of life and economic conditions in Cass and Van Buren counties. Our staff focuses on developing strategies that will allow our communities to thrive by addressing needs related to workforce, community, and business development. For more information, visit