COUNTRY LINES Alger Delta Cooperative Electric Association
St. Julian Wine Co.
LEGACY ALONG THE
Alger Deltaâ€™s 2018 Annual Report
Convenient Ways To Pay Your Bill Guest Column: One Million Dollars Short
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In This Issue June 2019 || Vol. 39, No. 6
Michigan’s Electric Cooperatives
FEATURED PHOTO FROM
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Executive Editor: Casey Clark Editor: Christine Dorr Copy Editor: Heidi Spencer
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Design and Production: Karreen Bird Publisher: Michigan Electric Cooperative Association Michigan Country Lines, USPS-591-710, is published monthly, except August and December, with periodicals postage paid at Lansing, Mich., and additional ofﬁces. It is the ofﬁcial publication of the Michigan Electric Cooperative Association, 201 Townsend St., Suite 900, Lansing, MI 48933. Subscriptions are authorized for members of Alger Delta, Cherryland, Great Lakes, HomeWorks Tri-County, Midwest Energy & Communications, Ontonagon, Presque Isle, and Thumb electric cooperatives by their boards of directors. POSTMASTER: SEND ALL UAA TO CFS. Association ofﬁcers are Robert Kran, Great Lakes Energy, chairman; Mark Kappler, HomeWorks Tri-County Electric, vice chairman; and Eric Baker, Wolverine Power Cooperative, secretarytreasurer. Craig Borr is president and CEO. CONTACT US/LETTERS TO EDITOR: Michigan Country Lines 201 Townsend St., Suite 900 Lansing, MI 48933 248-534-7358 email@example.com countrylines.com
CHANGE OF ADDRESS:
Please notify your electric cooperative. See page 4 for contact information.
The appearance of advertising does not constitute an endorsement of the products or services advertised.
Come share in the splendor of rural Michigan with us
michigancountrylines Life is simple when you just add water. Photo by: @j.mcveigh.52 #fawnlakemi
ON THE COVER St. Julian Wine Co. in Paw Paw, Mich. has been owned and operated by the same family for four generations. Their passion for local farms, real Michigan fruit, and the production of quality wine and juice has been upheld for nearly 100 years. St. Julian Wine Co. is the most-awarded winery in Michigan. Read the full story on page 14.
6 MI CO-OP COMMUNITY Guest Column
14 FEATURE St. Julian Wine Co.— Legacy Along The Lake Emily Haines Lloyd
18 MI CO-OP COMMUNITY Best Of Michigan Ice Cream
Here’s the scoop on the best places for ice cream in Michigan from co-op members!
Shades Of Lavender—A Dream Come True Janene Rawlinson, Midwest Energy & Communications member The Rawlinsons share their journey of owning Shades of Lavender Farm in Mattawan, Michigan. Learn all about what this unique farm has to offer on page 6.
Win $150 for stories published!
10 MI CO-OP KITCHEN Garden-Fresh Recipes To Enjoy All Summer
Christin McKamey & Our Readers
Enjoy this refreshing Melon & Proscuitto Skewers recipe from St. Julian Wine Co. to go along with their 2018 Chambourcin Rosé. Enter Our Recipe Contest And Win A $50 Bill Credit!
Country Lines invites members to submit their fond memories and stories. For guidelines and to submit your guest column go to countrylines.com under the MI Co-op Community tab.
MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES
On the Move
Board Of Directors District 1—Big Bay
Darryl Small 906-345-9369 • firstname.lastname@example.org
Karen Alholm 906-249-1095 • email@example.com
District 3—Grand Marais
Mike Lawless 906-494-2080 • firstname.lastname@example.org
District 4—Cedar River/Palestine
Dave Prestin 906-424-0055 • email@example.com
Ivy Netzel 906-639-2979 • MyAlgerDeltaRep5@gmail.com
District 6—Nathan/White Rapids
Paul Sederquist 906-753-4484 • firstname.lastname@example.org
District 7—Stonington/Rapid River
Kirk Bruno 906-399-1432 • email@example.com
Ray Young 906-450-1881 • firstname.lastname@example.org
District 9—Hiawatha/Maple Ridge
Doug Bovin 906-573-2379 • email@example.com
Tom Harrell firstname.lastname@example.org
426 N. 9th St, Gladstone, MI 49837 906-428-4141 • 800-562-0950 Fax: 906-428-3840 • email@example.com algerdelta.com
Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–4 p.m. (ET)
Alger Delta Cooperative is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
algerdelta.com Join us on Facebook. facebook.com/algerdeltaelectric
4 JUNE 2019
Tom Harrell, Chief Executive Officer
lger Delta is on the move. We’re engaged in many projects and developments throughout the central UP, and given the breadth of our service area, members might be unaware of what we’re doing elsewhere on the system. It’s important for you to know about these things, because, even though they may not be happening in your community, they benefit all the members everywhere. The Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) is expanding the Ojibway Casino located on M-28 southeast of Marquette. The gaming area will be about four times larger than before, and the community is adding a hotel as well as convention/entertainment facilities. This expansion means an increased need for clean, reliable and affordable energy. In partnership with the community, Alger Delta committed to rebuilding about five miles of overhead line to meet their increasing energy requirements. Our Seney substation is a 1950s (or maybe even earlier?) vintage delivery point from which we serve the 700+ members along M-77 up to and including Grand Marais. The aging substation has suffered a variety of problems over the past few years and will be completely rebuilt in the summer of 2019. This investment in our system will improve reliability for Grand Marais, and the cost will be partially offset by reduced maintenance for an aging facility. For 10 years, Alger Delta has been talking to Aquila Resources about the Back 40 Mine in Lake Township, Menominee County. We take no position regarding the pros and cons of the mine. We do, however, take our obligation to serve and our service territory rules very seriously. We continue to monitor the developments in Lake Township to the extent that we stand ready to provide power to any natural or non-natural member who meets the qualifications for taking service. A new metering system is coming. Alger Delta has been at the forefront of meter technology for quite some time. Today, we communicate with your meter through signals that are sent and received through the power lines—like the old landline phones. In 2019, we will implement the next generation of metering by installing a system that communicates over the air, via radio frequency—much like cell phones. The radio frequency or RF system provides members with more information about their energy consumption, conservation and savings; and will allow for more consumer options such as pre-paying your electric bill and automated outage reporting. Finally, a new substation for the Harvey/Deerton part of our system is in the planning stages and will provide economic advantages for as long as the cooperative exists. There are many other projects smaller in size, scope or cost. Poles, transformers, and other things wear out, erode, or fail for a variety of reasons. Inspecting, testing and scheduling for maintenance and replacement is a fact of life at Alger Delta. We continue to rebuild old and failing pole lines and other facilities. We’re looking for and finding opportunities to improve, grow, and do more for our members. We’re using technology that makes us more efficient and serves you better. We’re seeking out how to upgrade and improve the electric system to deliver on the promise of clean, affordable, reliable energy. Alger Delta is on the move.
PAY Your WAY
Alger Delta provides several convenient methods for you to pay your electric bill. Pay Online, Mobile Device Or By Telephone • Pay online, at our self-service site. • Select the SmartHub logo then select “New User”, then “Sign Up”. • Enter billing account number, last name or business name and email address. • Select “Submit” and follow remaining prompts. • To pay using your mobile device, download SmartHub on the App Store© or Google Play Marketplace. • To pay by phone, call 888-469-8739. Please have your bill available so you can provide your account number.
Automatic Payment Payments can also be made by automatic withdrawal from your checking, savings, debit or credit account. To use this method, call our office at 800-562-0950.
Pay By Mail
Pay In Person
Checks and money orders can be sent to:
During normal business hours members can make payments at our office, located at 426 North 9th Street, Gladstone.
Alger Delta Cooperative Electric Association, 426 North 9th Street, Gladstone, MI 49837 Please include the top stub of the bill to assure that your account is properly credited. Please do not send cash.
Have A Safe And Happy
FOURTH OF JULY! Alger Delta will be closed for Independence Day on Thursday, July 4. Payments may be made at the drop box or online at algerdelta.com. To report a power outage, please call 800-562-0950 or 906-428-4141.
After business hours, payments can be dropped off in the night deposit box located at our office outside of the main entrance. Please do not deposit cash into the night deposit box.
Alger Delta Workweek And Ofﬁce Hours To Change June through August Period
Days of the Week
June 3–August 30
For Service or Outage
7 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Eastern)
After-hours answering service takes calls anytime outside of regular hours.
MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES
MI CO-OP Community
SHADES OF LAVENDER A Dream Come True
By Janene Rawlinson, Midwest Energy & Communications member Photos: Jamie Rose Photography
magine rows of purple ﬂowers and the scent of lavender in the air. In addition to its beauty, lavender is sought after for its medicinal properties, fragrance, and use in food and beverages. You can enjoy all things lavender at our inviting Shades of Lavender Farm in Mattawan, Michigan. My husband, Scott, and I own the lavender farm. It’s a story that started out very unromantic and somewhere along the way turned into a blessing that we never expected. It all began with Scott’s statement, “We need to make this land work for us.” I began to research what types of plants grow well in our soil conditions. And when lavender popped up, I became intrigued. I was a full-time dental hygienist at the time, and also going to school for my bachelor’s degree in business. I ﬁgured that I would kill two birds with one stone and do my business plan on lavender farming. I quickly became enamored with the history, versatility and beneﬁts of lavender. I was hooked. Fast-forward four years, and our entire world has changed into something most people only get to dream about. We opened to the public in June 2018, and the response from customers has been nothing short of phenomenal. We offer u-pick lavender during the high season of June and July. We also have a farm market full of handcrafted bath and body products.
6 JUNE 2019
Visitors can watch us make the products at the shop with lavender harvested on our farm.
Want to try a lavender treat? Our certiﬁed kitchen allows us to make amazing lavender recipes. The shop is open for most of the year, closing in January and portions of the winter. The blissful aromas in our shop are worth the trip anytime of the year! We have over 1,200 lavender plants in the ground, featuring 12 different varieties. The ﬂowing ﬁelds are absolutely beautiful when in full bloom, with colors ranging from white to deep purple. There is a constant calming hum from the thousands of happy honeybees that ﬂutter from one plant to the next. Our beekeeper, Stacy, tends to our bees, and they, in turn, help us make sweet lavender honey. Our mission for the farm is to provide a warm, inviting, tranquil destination for our community to enjoy where the atmosphere creates peace and calm. Our farm is a place that friends and family gather together making memories that last a lifetime. We strive to unlock the beautiful wonders of nature through teaching, listening, resting and play. We would love to welcome you to Shades of Lavender Farm. Visit shadesoﬂavenderfarm.com to plan a visit. 47222 24th Street, Mattawan, Mich. 269-668-5267 : @shadesoﬂavenderfarm
Lavender Honey Cookies 1½ sticks (¾ cup) butter 1 cup white sugar—— plus more for the top of cookies 1 tablespoon culinary lavender buds
¼ 1 1 2 2 ½
Enjoy this sweet cookie recipe from our kitchen to yours.
cup honey egg teaspoon vanilla extract cups ﬂour teaspoons baking soda teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 F. Place the white sugar and culinary lavender into a blender and pulse until the lavender is ground into tiny bits. Pour this mixture into a large mixing bowl. Put the butter into a microwavable bowl, cover and microwave for 10-second intervals until melted. Do not overheat. Add the melted butter and the honey into the mixing bowl along with the lavender sugar. Beat until fully mixed. Add one egg at a time, beating well between each and then add the vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix the ﬂour, baking soda and salt. Stir until combined. Slowly incorporate the ﬂour mixture into the wet ingredients. Place a cover over this and refrigerate for approximately 30 minutes. Scoop the dough onto a parchment lined baking tray using a small cookie dough scoop. Take a drinking glass and wet the bottom of the glass (you will only need to do this once). Put some sugar into a bowl. Dip the bottom of the glass into sugar. Gently press each cookie with the bottom of the glass so that it slightly ﬂattens it. You will need to dip the glass into the sugar after each cookie. Bake cookies for 8–10 minutes. Cool and enjoy! @michigancountrylines
Learn How To Make
Lavender Lemonade The Rawlinsons often serve lavender lemonade to guests at their farm. To learn how to make this unique refreshment, check out @michigancountrylines on Instagram. Janene provides a step-by-step instructional demonstration in our “DIY” story highlight album.
MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES
2018 ALGER DELTA COOPERATIVE
ANNUAL REPORT By CEO Tom Harrell
ur 2018 audit is complete, and the auditors rendered a “clean opinion” on Alger Delta’s books, stating they “present fairly” in all material respects.
Alger Delta’s ﬁnancial performance complies with the obligations required by lenders and regulators. In 2018 Alger Delta had net margins of $1.317 million. We are a nonprofit corporation; however, we are required by a variety of regulations and agreements to achieve and maintain certain margins. Lenders and regulators monitor our financial performance to ensure margins provide adequate working capital and the ability to pay debt. In 2018, Alger Delta’s financial position and resulting ability to meet loan and other financial obligations complied with mortgage and loan covenants, rules and requirements set by lenders and regulators. Our financial position can be gauged, in part, by ratios called TIER, Debt Service Coverage (DSC) and Equity. These ratios were within the ranges required by lenders and regulators that monitor our position. The charts accompanying this article show TIER, DSC and Equity ratios over the past five years. An additional chart shows our Operating Expenses over the past three years. Margins are allocated, or assigned, to the members. At their March meeting, the Board of Directors allocated 100 percent of 2018’s margins—or patronage capital—to members. In the future, patronage capital will be paid back to the members whose electric usage helped create the
8 JUNE 2019
margin. The board determines the schedule for repaying those margins. Alger Delta’s financial performance is inﬂuenced by many factors, including wholesale power costs, financial and operational management, financial planning, return on invested capital and other factors. Wholesale power is one of the most inﬂuential factors and—as shown on the chart—is our biggest cost. Sound fiscal management has kept rates stable while maintaining our overall financial and operational performance.
Alger Delta members beneﬁt from a long-term wholesale power supply agreement. Your cooperative enjoys the benefits of a long term power supply agreement with WPPI Energy. Our power requirements are aggregated into an energy portfolio managed by WPPI that balances energy sources and reduces market risk and rate volatility. It also ensures energy security for all members thereby helping to keep energy affordable. Alger Delta’s contract with WPPI will provide a safe, clean and reliable wholesale power supply extending through 2055.
Alger Delta and WPPI lead in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Alger Delta and WPPI lead in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. WPPI’s portfolio of generation resources is one of the lowest in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of any
Fund, the UP Down Syndrome Association and the Powell Township Disaster Recovery plan. Our employees deserve recognition, too, for the countless hours of volunteer time spent coaching, teaching, mentoring, developing leaders, teaching kids and helping out in the community.
power supplier in the upper Midwest. Our position with green energy continues to improve as WPPI adds more renewable generation to our energy portfolio. Alger Delta enjoys exceeding the compliance threshold for Michiganâ€™s Renewable Portfolio Standard, or RPS. Alger Deltaâ€™s renewable resources include wind, solar, hydro and biofuels.
Alger Delta is improving every day.
Alger Delta gives back to the community.
In summary, Alger Delta is meeting or exceeding its financial obligations to lenders and regulators, striving to provide better service and reliability, improving its system and investing in our community and our employees. We do this to deliver on the promise of being your partner for safe, efficient and reliable energy and to help keep electricity affordable.
In addition to our financial position, Alger Delta uses its standing in the community to give back to those we serve. We do this by supporting service organizations and charities that work hard to lend a hand to the people of the Upper Peninsula. In 2018, we provided financial support to UP Pink Power, the Bonifas Arts Center, the YMCA of Delta County, UP Honor Flight, the City of Gladstone K9
OPERATING EXPENSES 6.0%
5.7% Cost Of Power Distribution
Administrative And General
Depreciation And Amortization
Interest Expense Other
5.7% 2016 Cost of power
2018 7.6% 48.5% 18.9%
$ 6,481,509 $ 6,870,018 $ 6,910,281
Administrative and general
Depreciation and amortization
Interest on long-term debt
$ 13,266,106 $ 14,341,735 $ 14,251,704
Financial statements continued on page 13.
MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES
Get more vegetables in your diet with these garden-fresh recipes. Photos by Robert Bruce Photography
Cashew Sweet Potatoes And Peaches
Katherine Howell, Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op 6 1 ½ ¼ ½ ½ 3
medium sweet potatoes pound can sliced peaches, drained cup cashews teaspoon ground ginger teaspoon salt cup brown sugar tablespoons butter
Preheat oven to 350 F. Peel and cook the sweet potatoes in boiling water until barely done. Cool and slice. Arrange the sweet potatoes, peaches and cashews in a buttered 9x13 baking dish. In a separate bowl mix the ginger, salt and brown sugar; crumble evenly over the sweet potatoes and peaches. Dot with butter. Bake covered for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake about 10 minutes longer. Serve immediately.
Watch a video of this month’s winning recipe at micoopkitchen.com/videos
10 JUNE 2019
Swiss Vegetable Medley Becky Elliott, Cherryland
1 pound bag (frozen) broccoli, cauliﬂower, and carrots, cooked and drained 1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese ½ cup sour cream ¼ teaspoon black pepper 1 jar chopped pimentos, drained 2.8 ounce can french fried onions Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine cooked vegetables, soup, half cup of cheese, sour cream, pepper, pimentos, and half can of onions. Pour into a 1-quart casserole dish and bake uncovered 30 minutes. Top with remaining cheese and onions. Bake 5 minutes longer. Enjoy!
Katie Swank, Great Lakes Energy 2 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained, cooked according to package (*can use chicken broth or vegetable broth as the liquid to cook the quinoa) 16 ounces black beans, drained 1 onion, ﬁnely chopped 1 bulb garlic, minced 1 tablespoon fresh chives, ﬁnely chopped (can substitute with dried chives, but use less) 1 orange bell pepper, diced • salt and pepper to taste 2–3 tomatoes, chopped or use grape or cherry tomatoes 1 large English cucumber, diced 1–2 avocados, pitted, peeled and slivered or diced • shredded white cheese, optional • feta cheese, optional • grilled chicken, or sausages, optional
Easy Cheesy Rotini Salad
Katie Schneider, Midwest Energy & Communications 1 2 1 1 ¼ 1 ½ 2
(16-ounce) package rotini pasta cups cherry or grape tomatoes colored bell pepper, chopped large cucumber, diced cup red onion, chopped (16-ounce) bottle Italian-style salad dressing cup grated Parmesan cheese tablespoons salad seasoning, store-bought or homemade (see below)
GUEST CHEF Rinse, drain and cook quinoa according to directions on package. In a small saucepan, heat black beans. Sauté onion, garlic, chives and pepper in a skillet until tender, with salt and pepper to taste. Mix into cooked quinoa and keep warm. Chop tomatoes, cucumber, and avocados, placing each in separate serving bowls. To serve, top quinoa mixture with black beans, chopped tomatoes, cucumbers and avocado with salt and pepper to taste. Optional, sprinkle with shredded cheese and feta and serve with grilled chicken or sausage of your choice (recommended: chicken spinach-feta sausage). Salad Seasoning: 1 tablespoon sesame seed 1 teaspoon paprika 1 teaspoon poppy seed 1 teaspoon celery seed 1½ teaspoons salt ½ teaspoon garlic powder ½ teaspoon ground black pepper Stir all salad seasoning ingredients together in bowl and store in an air-tight container. Bring 4 quarts of water to a rapid boil. Add rotini pasta. Return water to a rapid boil and cook uncovered, stirring frequently, for about 10 to 12 minutes. Drain pasta; rinse in cold water. Combine cooked pasta with tomatoes, bell pepper, cucumber, red onion, salad seasoning, Parmesan cheese and half of the Italian salad dressing. Add more dressing if desired. Cover and chill. Toss salad before serving. Can be made the night before and stored in the refrigerator.
Tailgating Favorites: due July 1 Venison: due August 1 Submit your favorite recipe for a chance to win a $50 bill credit and have your recipe featured in Country Lines with a photo and a video. Go to micoopkitchen.com for more information and to register.
Enter to win a
energy bill credit!
Wine and food pairings are a match made in culinary heaven. This summer, enjoy this offering from St. Julian Wine Co. as an appetizer or light dinner with a side salad along with their 2018 Chambourcin Rosé—— a fruity dry rosé is a perfect complement to this sweet and salty appetizer.
Melon & Proscuitto Skewers 1 medium cantaloupe, cut into 1-inch cubes ¼ pound thinly sliced prosciutto 20 small mozzarella balls • Fresh basil for garnish • Balsamic reduction for drizzle garnish • Wooden appetizer skewers
Balsamic Reduction 1 cup balsamic vinegar 1 tablespoon Honey Combine balsamic vinegar and honey over low heat until it starts to simmer. Gently cook until it reduces by half, about 15 minutes. Then thread onto small wooden cocktail skewers prosciutto, mozzarella, and melon cubes. Place on a serving platter and sprinkle with chopped basil and drizzle with balsamic reduction. Read the full story about St. Julian Wine Co. on page 14, and ﬁnd this recipe and others at micoopkitchen.com.
MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES
Save Energy And Money On Home Water Heating
econd only to space heating and cooling, water heating is the next largest source of energy consumption in U.S. homes. We use hot water every day for showering, doing dishes, washing clothes, and a multitude of other tasks— and the cost to heat that water adds up, especially if you have a standard electric or propane water heater. While standard electric resistance water heaters are relatively inexpensive to purchase, they are costly to operate. On the other hand, heat pump water heaters cost more upfront, but provide significant savings over time. Advanced heat pump technology helps to slash electricity consumption by up to 70 percent. Why switch to a heat pump water heater? Heat pump water heaters are up to 3.7 times more efficient than a standard electric water heater. While they do use electricity, they use a fraction of the energy consumed by a standard electric water heater.
Additionally, heat pump water heaters provide: • Quick payback compared to standard electric (recoup the upfront cost within 2–3 years) • Electricity cost savings of 50 percent or more (compared to standard electric models) • Reliable hot water • Dehumidiﬁcation of surrounding air • Flexible modes of operation to manage energy use and hot water output • Quiet operation Whether you’re building a new home or replacing an existing water heater, a heat pump water heater is a smart investment. Purchasing a new heat pump water heater is even more affordable now with a $500 cash incentive from the Energy Optimization program! Visit michigan-energy.org for more information, or call 877-296-4319 with any questions.
Soak in the
SAVINGS! With a new heat pump water heater. Efficiency – reduce energy consumption by 50% or more compared to standard electric water heaters Cost savings – a four-person household can save up to $330 a year in energy savings Quick payback – compared to standard electric. Recoup upfront costs in 2 - 3 years.
$500 REBATE available on qualified products
michigan-energy.org | 877-296-4319
Energy Optimization programs and incentives are applicable to Michigan electric service locations only. Other restrictions may apply. For a complete list of participating utilities, visit michigan-energy.org.
2018 ALGER DELTA ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE
BALANCE SHEET Year ended December 31
ASSETS Electric Plant
Deferred Debits Total Assets
MARGINS & EQUITIES (NET POSITION) Membership & Equities
Patronage Capital TOTAL MARGINS & EQUITIES LIABILITIES Long-Term Debt, net Current Liabilities Deferred Credits
TOTAL NET POSITION & LIABILITIES
STATEMENT OF REVENUE AND PATRONAGE CAPITAL Year ended December 31 OPERATING REVENUE
OPERATING EXPENSES Purchased power Distribution Expense Consumer & Customer Service Expense Depreciation Taxes General & Administrative Expense TOTAL OPERATING EXPENSES
TOTAL OPERATING INCOME
Other Non-Operating Revenues (expenses), net
CHANGE IN NET POSITION
MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES 13
St. Julian Wine Co.
LEGACY ALONG THE
LAKE By Emily Haines Lloyd Photos courtesy of St. Julian Wine Co.
hen Mariano Meconi moved The Meconi Wine Company, founded in 1921 in Canada, to Detroit after the repeal of Prohibition in 1923, he couldn’t have imagined the nearly 100-year legacy he would have begun, and the impact he and generations to come would make on the Michigan wine landscape.
St. Julian is committed to using only Michigan fruit in all of our products. That’s been a principle since the beginning of the company. It’s this amazing fruit that brought St. Julian to the area, and we intend to honor that.
—Justin Weeks, St. Julian Marketing Director
14 JUNE 2019
In 1936, Meconi relocated his winemaking operations to Paw Paw after purchasing the former Paw Paw Canning Company facility, strategically located alongside the railroad and near the premier grape-growing area of the Lake Michigan Shore Appellation. He also renamed the company St. Julian Wine Co., paying respect to San Giuliano, the Patron Saint of Faleria, Italy, where Meconi was born. “St. Julian is now 3rd and 4th-generation owned and operated,” said Justin Weeks, St. Julian Marketing Director. “Many family members are involved and passionate about the wine and spirits business.” Family is a common theme in the St. Julian story, with generations of Meconis working alongside Mariano himself until his retirement in the late 60s, including his grandson, David Braganini, who took over operations in the late 70s. At the time St. Julian was producing 300,000 gallons of wine and had 35 employees. He continued
stewardship of the company until 2016. While Meconi’s heritage was entirely Italian, the deep roots and family ties made in Michigan have survived the winemaker. “St. Julian is committed to using only Michigan fruit in all of our products,” said Weeks. “That’s been a principle since the beginning of the company. It’s this amazing fruit that brought St. Julian to the area, and we intend to honor that.” St. Julian builds its family around those ties to the community where it has grown its business. They now have six tasting rooms, including the home base in Paw Paw (Frankenmuth, Union Pier, Dundee, Rockford, and Metro Detroit), most along that same Appellation line, with the exception of the Detroit tasting room, a nod to Meconi’s original relocation to Michigan. Through its name changes and expansion, St. Julian wine has become the most award-winning
winery in Michigan and boasts over 100 products. Additionally, our winemaker Nancie Oxley continues to innovate with new grape variety planting, recruiting new growers, and creating new and exciting products. “We really do want to make sure there is something for everyone,” said Weeks. “Sweet and dry wines, brandy, spirits, cider, even juice for the kids— all made from Michigan fruit.” St. Julian’s staff talks about the winery’s accolades with humility: “When you’re in business almost 100 years, you’re gonna win some awards.” And they have an open-door policy toward novice drinkers and wine snobs alike: “Just drink what you like.” The staff embraces the notion that we’re all a part of the Meconi family, and everyone is welcome, just as they are. St. Julian, now under the stewardship of John Braganini, his wife, and two sons, has the capacity to store over a million gallons of wine/cider/spirits and has well over 100 employees. But the sense of tight-knit kinship is still felt in each tasting room. It’s a feeling that stopping to explore the ﬂavor and honor the earth are perhaps some of
the best ways to build community and family wherever you go. Time is a great teacher. Maybe it takes a hundred years to learn the most valuable lessons, but if we look closely at the stories of St. Julian, it’s easy to remember that family—in all the varied and surprising ways it shows up in life—really is what makes life sweet.
St. Julian’s continues to build family in each community it touches, there are plenty of events to attend to become a part of their extended clan. FIND UPCOMING SUMMER EVENTS AT:
Playing In The Water 1. Father and son at the lake for some ﬁshing and playing in water at Engman Lake, Gwinn. By Brittney LaCosse 2. Playing hooky. By Genevieve Romeos 3. This is how it’s done. By Nancy Crutchﬁeld 4. Like a child running through the sprinklers on a hot summer day, let us ﬁnd joy each and every day. By Victoria Swanson 5. Hey little brother! You are about to make a splash! By Stephanie Maskart
16 JUNE 2019
Share Your Photos!
Alger Delta invites members to share their amazing photos. Selected photos will be published in Michigan Country Lines.
Upcoming Photo Topics And Deadlines: Sunrise/Sunset, deadline June 20 (September issue) Favorite Costumes, deadline July 20 (October issue) To submit photos go to http://bit.ly/countrylines We look forward to seeing your best photos!
MI CO-OP Community
One Million Dollars Short
Brian Maki, Alger Delta Cooperative member
oney. You earn, spend and save it all your life. Billions of dollars ﬂoat from city to city, wallet to wallet, and from country to country. Without money, you would not have a place to live, a car to travel in, food in your belly, and a place to rest your head at night. Long ago, my father, Albert, was one million dollars short of winning the Michigan Lottery. My father religiously played the Michigan Lottery for years. After my father’s death in 1990, he left a black booklet at this workplace. I discovered lottery numbers written by him in this book, week after week, for over 20 years. His picks were written right next to the winning ones. The booklet’s tattered and worn cover told the tale of someone who had spent countless hours writing numbers, studying them, and dreaming about cracking the code to become the next big lottery winner. He kept this secret obsession from our family. I was 16 years old in 1987 when my father gave me a lottery ticket he had purchased and told me to watch the television drawing to see whether the numbers were a match. I remember watching the first ball rolling down into the holder: 16. I glanced back at the ticket: 16. A few seconds later, another ball rolled down: 28. Another match. This kept going until all numbers matched. “Mom,” I screamed, “the numbers match, the numbers match. Dad won a million dollars.” My sister, Wendy, who opened the front door, overheard what I had said and jumped for joy.
“Having a million dollars doesn’t solve a thing. Life is a journey of climbing to the top of the mountain.” We all dashed into that back room, with smiles and tears of hope. My father was sitting there, calm as ever, watching a hockey game. I told him all the numbers matched. Without hesitation, he said, “Oh, that’s last week’s numbers.” He went back to watching the game. The moral of the story: Having a million dollars doesn’t solve a thing. Life is a journey of climbing to the top of the mountain. I know that having nothing means more than having it all. Brian is an IT Consultant in Marquette, Mich. A fun fact about Brian is that he made a 55-foot basketball shot at the buzzer (on his ﬁrst attempt) after joining the team at the end of the season.
MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES 17
Best Ice Cream Here’s the scoop on the best places for ice cream in Michigan. Try these member recommended shops this summer to satisfy ice cream cravings!
House of Flavors, Ludington House of Flavors scoops up some of the ﬁnest made ice cream in the Midwest and is a 3rd generation ice cream shop and manufacturer. Laurie Konrad, Great Lakes Energy
Moomers Homemade Ice Cream, Traverse City They have been voted “best ice cream“ place in the U.S. twice and have been in business for 20 years now and have created over 120+ ﬂavors of mouth-watering ice cream, with Cherries Moobilee being their original award-winning ﬂavor to bring them national prominence. The entire staff are friendly and happy to make new friends. Thomas Waclawski, Cherryland
Captain Sundae, Holland Sandy Hansen, Great Lakes Energy
Moose, Portland 4 Chocolate The variety of homemade ice cream ﬂavors is amazing. Quaint little
store, lots of pride in what they do, generous portions, friendly smiles behind the counter, cute moose artwork and delicious treats! Dennis Strahle, HomeWorks Tri-County
1 12 11 7 10 14 4 13 3 8
Plainwell Ice Cream, Plainwell Homemade smooth and creamy ice cream with lots of ﬂavors and great service. Sally Westover, Great Lakes Energy
Cow’s Ice Cream Shop, Chatham 9 Mama Cute, quaint and serves the best ice cream. Denae Nadeau, Alger Delta
The Soft Spot, Zeeland Hands down the friendliest small town ice cream shop around. On certain days the “Cow” sign is tipped for a special of the day!
Country Dairy, New Era A great place to have lunch, take a guided farm tour and enjoy some of the best ice cream around. It is also home of the bottomless cup of milk! Sandy Whitaker, Great Lakes Energy
Jones Homemade Ice Cream, Baldwin I have been a loyal customer for about 50 years. Always a delight! Tom Alliston, Great Lakes Energy
Ice Cream and Café, Dimondale 13 Village Yvonne Esman, Midwest Energy & Communications Moon Ice Cream Shop, Ovid 14 Blue Voted best in Clinton county for several years! Jill Sloat, Alger Delta
House Ice Cream, Lewiston 5 Country Fantastic homemade ice cream. Friendly service and the single scoop is more like a double! Patricia Garrett, Presque Isle Electric & Gas
Fudgees, Central Lake A great place to stop and have delicious ice cream and fudge. Stacey Hamilton, Great Lakes Energy
Trading Post, Mecosta 7 Kings Hand dipped ice cream. Really big scoops dare you to try the triple-
decker. Sharon Varney, Great Lakes Energy
18 JUNE 2019
Best of Michigan UP NEXT: Best Michigan Craft Beer: Give us your personal craft beer favorite. We will publish this member–recommended list in our September issue. Submit your favorites at countrylines.com under the MI Co-op Community tab by July 20.
Beat the heat It’s TOO HOT to sleep. I can’t sleep either. We can’t do this all summer. I’m calling Well-Connect!
COOL $50 FOR AS LOW AS
Hybrid Geothermal CALL TO SCHEDULE A FREE HOME ASSESSMENT
www.wellconnectgeo.com (989) 356-2113 HEAT $500 FOR AS LOW AS
FINANCE FOR AS LOW AS
HOW TO PREVENT ELECTRIC SHOCK DROWNING
Each year 3,800 people die from drowning. Electric shock drowning occurs when an electric current escapes boats, docks and lights near marinas, shocking nearby swimmers. There are no visible signs of current seeping into water, which makes this a hidden danger. The electric shock paralyzes swimmers, making them unable to swim to safety.
ELECTRICAL SAFETY TIPS FOR: Boat Owners Swimmers • Never swim near a boat or launching ramp. Residual current could ﬂow into the water from the boat or the marina’s wiring, potentially putting anyone in the water at risk of electric shock. • If you feel any tingling sensations while in the water, tell someone and swim back in the direction from which you came. Immediately report it to the dock or marina owner.
• Ensure your boat is properly maintained and consider having it inspected annually. GFCIs and ELCIs should be tested monthly. Conduct leakage testing to determine if electrical current is escaping the vessel. • Use portable GFCIs or shore power cords (including “Y” adapters) that are “UL-Marine Listed” when using electricity near water. • Regularly have your boat’s electrical system inspected by a certiﬁed marine electrician. Ensure it meets your local and state NEC, NFPA and ABYC safety codes.
IF YOU SEE ELECTRIC SHOCK DROWNING TAKING PLACE:
TURN POWER OFF
THROW A LIFE RING
DO NOT enter the water. You could become a victim, too. Sources: Electrical Safety Foundation International, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention