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May in Michigan

May in Michigan is truly something to be celebrated. After a long winter of snow and cold, spring has everyone excited for warmer weather, longer days, and more opportunities to enjoy the beauty of the Great Lake State. In the vineyard, the vines are waking up and bud break is just around the corner. As this marks the official start of the new growing season, it’s only fitting that May has been designated as Michigan Wine Month and the perfect time to share your new Wine Club selections with family and friends!

Michigan has the longest freshwater coastline in the United States and that makes this region special. The lake stabilizes the climate and provides excellent cool climate growing conditions for the vineyards, which are located within 25 miles of Lake Michigan. This “lake effect”contributes substantially to the quality of the grapes, producing wines that are light, crisp, elegant, and balanced.

Even with the benefits of Lake Michigan, Mother Nature can cause havoc on the tender spring vines. For example, on April 2nd, the temperature started out at 17 degrees in the morning and ended at 75 degrees. Several days of these back-and-forth temperature swings early in the season have the vines trying to figure out if it’s time to bud or stay sleeping. Once bud break happens, extreme low temperatures can have devastating effects on the tender vines. This highlights the importance of growing different types of grapes, both vinifera and hybrid, to maximize the likelihood of having a great harvest in the fall.

Our commitment to using Pure Michigan fruit, which although challenging at times, keeps us experimenting and innovating. St. Julian has 650 acres of vineyards under contract in the Lake Michigan Shore Appellation, the Leelanau Peninsula, and the Old Mission Peninsula. Working with over 56 varieties of grapes (yes, 56!), we have a lot going on in the vineyard to be excited about! For May, we are excited to share with you two newer varieties in two new wines. Our dry wine drinkers have the opportunity to try a beautiful rosé made from the European variety Cinsaut, which was planted by our grower Dan Nitz at his Tercero Vineyard in Baroda. Our sweet wine drinkers will have the opportunity to try a new European variety called Blaufränkisch in the semi-sweet rosé, OUTLOOK. Blaufränkish was harvested for the first-time last year by Dan Nitz at Tercero Vineyard, and it has a beautiful spicy character that adds complexity to this blend. Look for many new varieties coming in your club wines this year. With the warmer weather, new wines, and tons of events planned in all tasting rooms, it’s a great time to be a Wine Club Member!

Spotlight On...
MR

2020 Winemaker's Series Merlot Rosé

Merlot is a grape variety that is loved for its boisterous dark fruit flavors and smooth tannins. Winemakers like using it to make rosé because the flavors and aromas are really pronounced. The 2020 WMS Merlot Rosé was made using the traditional saignée method, which is actually a by-product of red winemaking. During the fermentation of the Merlot grapes, some of the juice was bled off the skins after just an hour, giving the juice a beautiful deep pink hue. This rosé juice is then fermented separately like a white wine in stainless steel tanks to keep it crisp and clean.

The 2020 Winemaker’s Series Merlot Rosé is made from a blend of grapes from 4 of our Merlot growers in the Lake Michigan Shore AVA. It's medium-bodied and loaded with fresh strawberry and citrus character. Aromatics of fresh strawberry, strawberry shortcake, and white pepper are the first thing you notice, followed by flavors of fresh strawberry and raspberry. Bright acidity gives balance to the punch of fruit, making this wine very food friendly. You could enjoy it with so many options: BBQ, burgers, grilled meats, Caprese salad, strawberry and feta salad, salmon, lamb, duck, soft cheeses, Niçoise salad, and (our favorite) charcuterie.

For an interesting side-by-side comparison, try the 2018 BR Merlot that was just released  for members next to this Merlot Rosé. Can you pick out similar Merlot flavors in the red version as in this lighter rosé? How awesome is it that as Wine Club members, you get so many exclusive wines to share and enjoy!?

Outlook

Outlook

Life is full of twists and turns and some days seem brighter than others. Yet everyday has something to celebrate if you choose to see the good stuff! Looking at the world through rose-colored glasses means to view events and people in an optimistic way. It’s all in your OUTLOOK. This month, we are excited to share with you a new semi-sweet rosé wine named in honor of everyone who approaches life with a cheerful attitude.

OUTLOOK is a semi- sweet rosé made with a blend of 4 varieties of red grapes. Made in the traditional saignée method of rosé winemaking, the beautiful pink hue comes from the juice being in contact with the red skins for just an hour. Each variety adds a unique component to the blend. Pinot Noir adds flavors of bright cherry and nice acidity. Zweigelt is an Austrian variety that adds raspberry and a spicy note of black pepper that works beautifully with the fruit. DeChaunac adds body and little more color. The Austrian variety, Blaufränkisch, is a new variety for us in West Michigan, and it adds beautiful raspberry, cherry, and a hint of allspice to the blend. The result is a complex, fruity wine that will keep you going back for sip after sip.

Acidity is what makes a wine balanced and gives it such versatility. To enjoy with food, you could pair this wine with burgers, pizza, watermelon and feta salad, spicy chicken or seafood salad, BBQ, or curries. At 5% residual sugar, this wine can easily please a variety of taste preferences. Add a touch of citrus, vodka, or sparkling water to make it less sweet. In the mood for something sweeter? Add a touch of simple syrup or a sweeter sparkling wine to increase the fruitiness of this fun new blend!

Rosé Your May Away!
Rosé

If you have found yourself drinking more rosé, you are part of a national trend! This flirty and fun sibling of red and white wine is certainly having its moment. Domestic rosé consumption has maintained double-digit growth over the past 5 years, with no signs of slowing down. Rosé signifies summer and sunshine and it’s exceptionally versatile. From dry to sweet, still to sparkling, St. Julian has a rosé for everyone! This month, we are releasing 5 different rosé wines. YES, FIVE! And that is just the beginning. August will have more coming exclusively for members.

Rosé wines are traditionally made from red-skinned grapes. The different shades of pink come from the contact the juice has with the red skins. Colors can vary depending on contact time and the variety of grape. No matter if you are drinking a dry version, like the 2020 WMS Cinsaut Rosé or a sweeter version like OUTLOOK, rosé wines are refreshing and bright. Flavors like strawberry, cherry, and citrus are balanced by a nice amount of acidity making them incredibly food-friendly. Try pairing your rosé wine with salads, brunch foods, fresh fruit, spring pastas, grilled meats, cheese, chicken, fish, pork, crab, shrimp, and lobster. Sweeter rosé wines also make excellent spritzers and slushies.

To learn more on how rosé wine is made, join us in all tasting rooms in June for a member exclusive Wine Club 101. Can’t make it to the winery? No worries! We will have the exclusive Rosé Wine Club 101 TO-GO kits available on our website starting in June. You will also be able to purchase these in the tasting room. We invite you to rosé your May - and all your days - away!

Important Wine Club Reminders

Wine Club members are entitled to many fantastic perks, like exclusive wines, complimentary tastings, and discounts. Thank you for following the below procedures to keep the perks going:

  • Only 2 people can be enrolled per wine club membership. Both names must be on the membership.
  • Your valid Driver’s License or State ID is your membership card and must be presented with every transaction. This ensures the accuracy and security of your account. Previous membership cards are no longer valid.
  • Your account must be up to date and current.
  • Discounts may not be shared with non-members.

Wine Club is a fantastic deal requiring the purchase of just 2 bottles every 3 months. We know your friends will love it too, so suggest they become Wine Club Members with you. Remember, you receive a $10 e-Gift Card for every new member that identifies you as their referral!* If you have any questions or concerns regarding these policies, please don’t hesitate to contact the Wine Club team at wineclub@stjulian.com.

*Only for new members. New member must make note of the referring name through a link in their club confirmation email. E-Gift codes only available for use in retail rooms or online.

Ask Winemaker Nancie

"What is Ramato?" - Chris R., South Haven, MI

Ramato

I am beyond excited for this wine! Ramato is basically an Italian-style rosé wine made from Pinot Gris. We all know and love Pinot Grigio as a crisp, refreshing white wine made from the Pinot Gris grape. Interestingly, the grapes are actually a pale rosy-grey color. For this wine, the grapes were crushed and instead of pressing the juice off the skins right away, we fermented the juice on its beautifully hued skins. This results in a distinct wine style called ramato. It comes from the word “rame” which means “copper” in Italian. What distinguishes ramato from rosé or “orange wine” is that it is a product historically made with only Pinot Gris grapes.

The 2020 WMS Ramato is a small lot production of only 80 cases exclusively for Wine Club and it’s fabulous! The grapes are the first harvest of Pinot Gris from our Mountain Road Estate Vineyard and the small harvest was perfect for this winemaking technique. This Ramato was made in our new ceramic eggs, called Clayvers.

Clayvers are special fermentation vessels that allow for more micro-oxygenation of the wine for enhanced mouthfeel and complexity. The shape also helps with color extraction and retaining fruitiness. The result is a beautiful rosy-hued wine with unique flavors, aromas, and structure. You will notice some tannin, or a drying effect, on the palate due to the juice contact with the skins. It’s a white wine that drinks like a red wine and looks like a rosé wine. How cool is that? Flavors of cranberry and strawberry burst from the glass, making this wine tremendously food-friendly and an excellent match to a diverse array of dishes. We are proud to offer our members a beautiful new expression of the Pinot Gris grape.

Wine Club Important Dates

May Wine Club Calendar

  • May 1st: All will call orders charged
  • May 2nd: Starting now, will call orders available for pick up
  • May 3rd-4th: All shipping orders charged
  • May 5th-7th: All regular shipping orders packed and shipped

August Wine Club Calendar*

  • July 19th-30th: Special request orders and additional wines will be added to your order and processed. Wines will ship as they are processed, unless you make other arrangements. You can change your shipping address, billing information, or add wines to your order anytime before your order processes. Please keep in mind, once your order processes, we cannot guarantee your requests. You MUST CONTACT WINE CLUB to make any changes or additions to your order information.
  • Aug. 1st-2nd: All will call orders charged
  • Aug. 1st: Wine Club Newsletter emailed to you
  • Aug. 3rd: Starting now, all will call orders available for pick up
  • Aug. 3rd-5th: All shipping orders charged
  • Aug. 9th-10th: All regular shipping orders packed and shipped

*Dates subject to change. Cancellations must be done in writing to wineclub@stjulian.com 30 days prior to the next shipment.

Loyalty Points

What Are Those Points On My Account?

Many of you have noticed that you have points accumulating on your Wine Club account. As a Wine Club member, you earn 4 points per dollar spent on all your purchases. Login to your account to check your point balance and redeem your points for an e- gift code. This e-gift code can then be used online or in stores on your next purchase*.

Points may not be redeemed directly on the purchase of wine. You must first redeem them on the e-gift code. Choose “loyalty points” as the payment method for the e-gift code. Now you can use the e-gift code on your next purchase!* Complete information regarding how to redeem your points can be found on our Wine Club FAQ page. Earn 1,000 points to redeem a $10 e-gift code just for drinking your favorite wine! Points can be redeemed online or in the tasting rooms.

*Some exclusions apply. May not be used on your quarterly Wine Club shipment.

Wine Club FAQ

Wine Club 101

Wine Club members are invited to join us for free exclusive guided tastings held in each tasting room. Taste and learn about the wines you love in a fun and relaxed setting. Each month will focus on a different topic. 2 people per membership. RSVPs REQUIRED to the tasting room you wish to attend. Space is limited due to social distancing requirements.*

*All dates subject to change or be cancelled due to COVID-19

Rosé All Day

Rosé wines are all the rage and St. Julian has many to try! From dry to sweet, we invite you to learn how these wines are made and what makes them so versatile, popular, and food friendly!

June 16th, 6 PM - Frankenmuth
June 16th, 6 PM - Rockford
June 16th, 7 PM - Dundee
June 17th, 6 PM - Union Pier
June 17th, 6 PM - Paw Paw
June 23rd, 6 PM - Troy
June 24th, 6 PM - Paw Paw

What's in the Glass?

Back by popular demand! Join us for a fun learning game where you try to determine which wine is in your glass. Use your deductive reasoning as you smell, taste, and learn how different winemaking techniques affect the wines in your glass.

July 14th, 6 PM - Troy
July 21st, 6 PM - Frankenmuth
July 21st, 6 PM - Rockford
July 21st, 7 PM - Dundee
July 22nd, 6 PM - Paw Paw
July 22nd, 6 PM - Paw Paw
July 22nd, 6 PM - Union Pier

Vine to Bottle Tours

Looking for the full wine experience? Join us in the PAW PAW tasting room for a Vine To Bottle Tour! Shuttle to our Mountain Road Estate Vineyard to walk among the vines with a winemaking team member as they explain the “magic” that happens to the grapes. Enjoy a glass of wine and boxed lunch while enjoying the view before heading back to the winery. Once there, enjoy more wine as you take a tour of the production facility to learn how the grapes become wine in the bottle. RSVP required. $100 per ticket, $90 for Wine Club members. Learn more and RSVP by calling the tasting room at 800-732-6002 or by clicking the button below.

Purchase Tickets

Mark Your Calendar!

Our Next Case Sale is June 4th-6th

Wine Club members receive 25% OFF cases plus penny shipping! Mix and match bottles as long as you order in increments of 12!

Spring Recipe Pairings

Strawberry Avocado Toast

Pair With: 2020 Winemaker's Series Merlot Rosé
Toast

This easy and healthy dish makes a great appetizer. You can also add protein, like chicken or shrimp to make it more of a meal. The richness of the avocado balances with the acidity of the wine and the strawberries compliment the fruitiness of this beautiful rosé.

  • Fresh strawberries, sliced or chopped
  • Ripe avocado, sliced
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Toast made with bread of your choice
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • Fresh basil, chopped
  • Balsamic vinegar for drizzling

Add the avocado to a bowl and drizzle with the lemon juice and pinch of salt and pepper. Slightly mash. Spread the avocado onto the toast. Top with the fresh strawberries, basil, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.  Add more salt and pepper to taste.

Spicy Crab Salad

Pair With: Outlook
Crab

Sweet and spicy crab salad is perfect to pair with the sweet strawberry lemonade flavors of this semi-sweet rosé. The sweetness and spiciness play off of each other beautifully! Could also use shrimp or chicken in place of the crabmeat.

  • 8 ounces lump crabmeat (can used canned or fresh)
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 dash Worcestershire sauce
  • Tabasco or Sriracha to taste (½ tsp is recommended)
  • 1 avocado, pitted and cut into 2 halves.
  • Fresh chopped parsley to garnish

Mix all of the ingredients together, except the avocado and parsley. Cut the avocado and hollow out to make a serving boat. Top the crab salad on the halved avocado and top with fresh parsley. May also top the salad on lettuce or bread if you are not an avocado fan. Serve with crackers or salty potato chips for scooping!

What We Are Drinking in May

View May Wine Club Wines

Cassandra

Join our Wine Club Director, Cassandra Poné, as she tastes through some of the new wines for May!

View Dry Wine Tasting Video View Sweet Wine Tasting Video

Subtitles recommended.

Read This Month's Tasting Notes Download Newsletter PDF View Newsletter ArchiveContact Wine Club