As the oldest and largest winery in the state of Michigan, St. Julian has always been a leader in viticultural practices that benefit the land, as well as the commercial success of the fruit we grow. We recognize our responsibility to the environment and our consumers to produce quality products in the most healthful and conscientious manner. When you drink St. Julian wines, you can be assured that sustainable practices were used in their production. But what does that mean? We focus on sustainable methods in the vineyards and winery in a variety of ways.
In the Vineyard
- Mt. Road Estate Vineyard awarded the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program Certification. St. Julian’s Estate Vineyard has met all the qualifications in this voluntary proactive program designed to prevent agricultural risks. It was officially certified last year!
- Integrated Pest Management. Good bugs, birds and predators eat pests that threaten crops which negates the use of chemical insecticides. Bird houses have been built in the vineyards to encourage the presences of blue birds,which eat bad bugs. Pest decoys, like fake owls, bird calls and cannon booms are used to scare pests from the fruit.
- Composting. Each spring, after all the vines have been pruned, the canes are mulched, providing “green manure” to the soil.
- Cover Crops & Erosian Control. We actively have planted grass between vineyard rows to control erosion. The cover crops protect the soils along with promoting habitats to beneficial insects and birds.
- Vine Balance. A joint effort between our growers and St. Julian to achieve the best grapes grown in SW Michigan. Shoot thinning, leaf pulling and crop thinning all support efforts to grow grapes that match our climate and soil.
- Hazardous Waste Management. Our growers maintain “spray” buildings for safe storage of chemicals, as well as an area for mixing spray materials. These facilities protect the environment from chemicals that could potentially seep into the soil and groundwater.
In the Winery
- Mechinization. We continually invest in equipment to improve efficiency. Examples include jacketed tank chillers, energy efficient lighting, mechanized case packer & Cross Flow Filtration.
- Waste Management & Recycling. We employ techniques that reduce waste and recycle.This includes Cross Flow Filtration, which is a method that reduces our use of filter media creating less than 3% waste compared to traditional wine filtration. Also, Composting is utilized; a local nursery and livestock farmers use our grape pumace, returning it to the environment to strengthen soils from our winery operations. And of course, we Recycle all glass, paper, cardboard and plastic.
- Safe Quality Food Certification. The winery and staff have been certified in food supply chain safety, providing customers with confidence in the safety and quality of the products we make.