Back to top

St. Julian Winery Scores Big at 2021 Harvest Challenge

“Sweet Nancie” Receives Top Honors Along With 10 Other Wines

(PAW PAW, Mich) – St. Julian Winery was recently awarded with 13 new medals at the recent Harvest “Terroir” Challenge wine competition – the only competition to judge wines by American Viticultural Area – including Best of Class, Best of Lake Michigan Shore AVA and Double Gold for its sweet sparkling “Sweet Nancie” wine. Other medals included three additional Double Gold, one Gold and six Silver. The detailed list is below.

Named after head winemaker, Nancie Oxley, “Sweet Nancie” has flavors of peach, pineapple and lemon zest balanced by crisp acidity. Exotic aromas of mango, melon and pear leap from the glass with a perfect touch of sweetness offering a long, satisfying finish. In addition to the three distinct honors presented during the Harvest Challenge, “Sweet Nancie” was also this season named a Best of Class award winner at the International Eastern Wine Competition / East Meets West Wine Challenge and was a Double Gold winner at the Indy International Wine Competition.

“At St. Julian, we approach each harvest with the goal to make wines that could compete on a world stage,” Nancie notes. “Thanks to our talented winemaking team and relationships with fantastic grape growers, we are doing just that!”

This year’s Harvest Challenge brought in a record number of entries from Chile, Argentina, France, Virginia, Oregon, Washington and Australia. As of today, there are 260 AVAs within 34 states in the US, with 142 of them located in California.

Here in Michigan, there are five federally-recognized AVA regions – Fennville (Established in 1981 with over 75,000 acres), Leelanau Peninsula (Established in 1982 with over 75,000 acres), Lake Michigan Shore (Established in 1983 and amended in 1987, with over 1,280,000 acres), Old Mission (Established in 1987 with about 20,000 acres) and the Tip of the Mitt (Established in 2016 with about 100 acres). In order for a winery to include the AVA on the label, 85% of the grapes in the wine must come from that region.

The Harvest Challenge, owned and operated by Wine Competition Management & Productions, is judged by leading wine industry professionals who evaluate and rank wines based on terroir. The top scoring Best of Class and Best of Region wines are then sent to Sweepstakes where Best Red, Best White, Best Rosé, Best Dessert and Best of Show are determined.

St. Julian 2021 Harvest “Terroir” Challenge Medals:

Best of Class:

  • Sweet Nancie

Best of Lake Michigan Shore AVA

  • Sweet Nancie

Double Gold

  • Sweet Nancie
  • 2020 Braganini Reserve Traminette
  • 2020 Braganini Reserve Mountain Road Estate Riesling
  • 2020 Braganini Reserve Sauvignon Blanc


  • 2019 St. Julian Winemaker's Series Double Barrel Petite Pearl


  • 2020 Braganini Reserve Pinot Noir
  • 2020 Braganini Reserve Mountain Road White
  • 2020 Braganini Reserve Lake Harvest Vignoles
  • 2020 Braganini Reserve Grüner Veltliner
  • 2020 Braganini Reserve Albariño
  • 2019 St. Julian Winemaker Series Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot

St. Julian, Michigan’s largest and longest-operating winery, has been family-owned since its founding in 1921. In addition to the winery in downtown Paw Paw where they produce award-winning wines, sparkling juices, spirits and hard cider, St. Julian operates tasting rooms in Dundee, Frankenmuth, Rockford, Troy and Union Pier, and distributes to states throughout the midwest.

About Wine Competitions Management & Production (WCMP): This organization owns and operates a variety of competitions including Sunset Wine Competition, East Meets West, International Women’s Wine Competition, Harvest Challenge, Sunset Spirits Competition, the Craft Distillers Spirits Competition, Press Democrat North Coast Wine Challenge, Experience Rosé, West Coast Wine Competition, Santé Wine Competition and International Eastern Wine Competition.