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Building on Success: Michigan Liquor Control Commission Visits St. Julian Winery in Paw Paw

Presents Tribute to State’s First Female Head Winemaker

It was an education-focused, information-sharing site visit as directors of the Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) met with principals of the St. Julian Winery in Paw Paw recently. The MLCC also recognized the first female head winemaker in Michigan with a Certificate of Tribute. 

“As a strong partner in promoting business, we are doing more outreach with licensees to learn what their needs are toward growing their business and inform them of the MLCC’s many resources that are available to them,” said MLCC Chair Kristin Beltzer. “We welcome licensees’ questions and input as we continually streamline operations for greater efficiency. I want to thank St. Julian Winery for the open dialogue that will build on our long-standing relationship.”

Ms. Beltzer and MLCC Staff

Ms. Beltzer and the MLCC staff, including the business manager, and directors of the finance and licensing divisions met with St. Julian Winery Chairman John Braganini and his staff. Braganini hosted a tour of the winery, showcasing St. Julian’s rich history and expanding operations of the West Michigan winemaker that has been licensed through the MLCC since 1938.

Ms. Beltzer (right) presented a Certificate of Tribute to Nancie Oxley, St. Julian Winery Vice-president of Winemaking (left) commending her for being the first female Head Winemaker in Michigan.  The MLCC recognized Ms. Oxley for her knowledge, expertise and dedication to her craft that is an inspiration especially to women interested in careers in winemaking. She joined St. Julian’s winemaking team more than 20 years ago.

“Throughout our storied history, strong women have been key players in leadership roles at St. Julian,” said St. Julian Winery Chairman John Braganini. “Along with my grandmother, Avelia Meconi, my mother, Julia, my wife Sarah, and our Wine Club Director, Cassandra Pone, Nancie has provided creativity and innovation throughout her career.”

St.Julian is Michigan’s most awarded and largest winery, with six tasting rooms located throughout the state. It is also Michigan’s first craft distillery with a line of spirits including vodka, run, brandy and more.  For more information about St. Julian Winery, go to

For the first time in the MLCC’s long history, the Commission chairperson, business manager and all four division directors are women. The MLCC marked 90 years in business earlier this year on May 4, 2023, as the state wholesaler of spirits and administrator of the Liquor Control Code.  For more information about the MLCC, go to

The mission of the Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) is to make alcoholic beverages available for consumption while protecting the consumer and the general public through regulation of those involved in the sale and distribution of these alcohol beverage products.   

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