Mariano Meconi was born in the village of Faleria, Italy in 1895. At the age of 13, Mariano emigrated from Italy to Windsor, Ontario, Canada. As a young man, after school Mariano worked at the Studebaker auto factory in order to supplement his preferred vocation of wine making.
In 1921 at age 26, Mariano founded Border City Wine Cellars, quickly changing the name to the Meconi Wine Company. Following the repeal of Prohibition in December of 1933, Mariano moved his flourishing wine making enterprise across the river to Detroit in 1934. 1936 was the year Meconi moved the family to its present location in Paw Paw, in order to be closer to the acclaimed Lake Michigan Shore grape-growing region. With the move came a new name, The Italian Wine Company.
In 1941, during World War II, Meconi strategically countered rising antifascist sentiment in the United States by switching the name of the company once again, from The Italian Wine Company, to St. Julian Winery.
In the last name change of the company, Mariano Meconi humbly paid homage to the patron saint of his native village, Faleria, Italy. All Italian villages have patron saints and San Giuliano, nee St. Julian, stands as the saint that protects the village and the citizens of Faleria.
With a rich history, St. Julian still produces some of the long-time favorites, including Sholom Kosher Wine
and our award-winning Solera Cream Sherry
. Over the past 15 years, St. Julian has focused on producing a new line of single varietal wines. The grapes come from the best vineyards in Southwest Michigan, producing top quality wines. In 1999, Braganini Reserve Meritage was “born” establishing a small lot production of dry, single varietal wines. As excitement from the President and Winemaker grew, St. Julian now has over 15 Braganini Reserve wines ranging in many different winemaking styles.
For over 95 years, the Winery now known as St. Julian Wine Co., Inc. has produced award-winning products. From the first shoots of the Michigan spring through the harvest and barrel tasting of late fall, the family tradition that has flourished transforms grapes to wine, fruit to nectar, as passion and science converge bottle after bottle, case after case.