Forty-six Purdue alumni, spouses, and friends gathered at Fernwood Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve near Buchanan, MI along the banks of the St. Joseph River for an evening of good wine and food. Nancie Corum-Oxley, winemaker at St. Julian Winery of Paw Paw, MI, Purdue graduate in Food Science, and Michigan’s first female winemaker, was host for the event. Carol Line, Fernwood director and Purdue graduate in Horticulture, provided a welcome to the group. Nicki Small of the Fernwood Food Service under the direction of Chef Tim Carrigan provided the descriptions of the food parings with four St. Julian wines. Dan Nitz, owner of Arrowhead Vineyards, talked about growing wine grapes in southwest Michigan. Michael Sanders, director of the South Bend Purdue Polytech Institute program, shared information on the recent changes in the program that has centers across the State of Indiana and on the West Lafayette campus. Dean DeVoe, elected member of the Purdue Alumni Association Board from the Elkhart County Purdue Alumni Club updated members on activities of the Purdue Alumni Association. Dean also assisted with the auction of five KitchenAid appliances provided to the club by the Whirlpool Corporation. Funds from the auction will support the Scholarship Program of the Purdue Alumni Club of Southwest Michigan. A great time and good fellowship was had by all who attended. Enjoy some photos of the event taken by Charlotte Poole.
It was a nice cool, fall day at Fernwood for the wine tasting event.
The evening sunset over the St. Joseph River was very lovely as the guests arrived.
The first course was a lemon poached shrimp dish served with a honey pineapple relish and pared with a sparkling wine named for Nancie Corum-Oxley, “Sweet Nancie”, a sparkling Traminette wine.
Alumni and friends enjoying the first wine and pared dish.
Nancie Corum-Oxley talking about the types of wines and how they are grown in southwest Michigan and bottled by St. Julian Winery
Nicki Small telling the group about the food dishes pared with each wine.
The second dish was blackened chicken breast served with a balsamic cranberry chutney pared with a St. Julian 2013 Chardonnay. Both the 2014 and 2015 Chardonnay grape crops were damaged by the recent very cold winters.
Another view of the wine tasting which had a Christmas like atmosphere due to three Christmas trees and overhead lights.
A photo of the wine serving table with ice bowls for the first two white wines and the two red wines waiting to be served.
Michael Sanders, director of the Purdue Polytech Institute program of South Bend, Indiana, addressing the group about recent changes in the program, previously known as the Purdue College of Technology.
The third course was a garlic roasted pork tenderloin served with a Michigan cherry demi-grace and pared with a 2013 St. Julian Reserved Syrah red wine.
Present at the wine tasting were former Dean of the College of Technology, Dr. George McNelly (left) and his wife Louise McNelly (right) and current director of the Purdue Polytech Institute program of South Bend, Michael Sanders with his wife Shari Rodriguez (middle couple)
Charlotte Poole, Vice President of the Purdue Alumni Club of Southwest Michigan serving Bruce Laing of Dowagiac, MI a glass of Syrah wine.
View of the Gallery Room at Fernwood where the wine tasting took place.
Chris Miller, member of the Board of the Purdue Club of Southwest Michigan showing off the forth wine to be served, a St. Julian “Gatherman’s Port”, aged in oak barrels for several years before being bottled. Served with the port, a fortified after dinner wine, was a pecan zuccini carrot cake served with an espresso cream and fresh carmel (sorry everyone ate theirs before a photo could be taken!).
Dean DeVoe, member of the Purdue Alumni Association Board, sharing information about the Association activities.
George McNelly getting a kiss from Jan Corum who selected the painting which he provided during the door prize activity at the end of the wine tasting.