Nancie Corum-Oxley, the award-winning* head winemaker at St. Julian Winery in Paw Paw, will be recognized by her Alma Mater on October 10 when Purdue University presents her with an “Outstanding Food Science Award.” The award recognizes individuals who have brought significant honor to Purdue University and the Department of Food Science, and have contributed to the field of food science.
To be considered and ultimately chosen for this award, “recipients must have earned a Purdue degree or have had an extraordinary impact on the department of Food Science and have demonstrated excellence in the industry, academia, government or other endeavors related to food science as exemplified by leadership and accomplishment,” according to Dr. Suzanne Nielsen, head of the Department of Food Science. “Your significant achievements exemplify all of the stated criteria.”
As the first professional commercial female winemaker in Michigan, Oxley has been with St. Julian for 12 years. Starting as a lab manager and enologist, she quickly moved up the ranks to assistant winemaker in 2003 and associate winemaker in 2008. She was promoted to head winemaker in 2010.
Oxley earned a Master of Science degree in food and agribusiness management from Purdue University-Indiana University in West Lafayette, Indiana, in 2010 with the MBA portion of her degree completed at the Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business.
Purdue’s long-standing strengths in agribusiness and food science, coupled with Indiana University’s expertise in management education, delivers the best of both worlds—an industry-specific focus on current issues and food and agriculture, paired with a general MBA. Both schools have international reputations and are highly regarded for their quality programs.
In 2002, she received Bachelor of Science in food manufacturing operations and double minors in agribusiness management and organizational leadership and supervision. While at Purdue, Nancie was a member of several organizations, including Kappa Alpha Theta, Institute of Food Technologists and the American Wine Society.
During the course of her undergraduate studies, Oxley assisted enologist Dr. Richard Vine in making wine as a part of Purdue’s grape and wine research program, as well as assisting in the coordination of the esteemed Indy International Wine Competition. She completed an internship at Geyser Peak Winery in California, under the tutelage of winemaker Daryl Groom, before heading back to the Midwest in 2002 to join the team at St. Julian.
The family-owned St. Julian winery, Michigan’s oldest and longest-operating winery, was founded in 1921.