It was some of the best wine I have ever had from Michigan…maybe from anywhere. 

You know you have met a true artist when they have a tremendous passion for their product. When you can feel their resolve to create the absolute finest possible. When they personally take the time to show serious wine consumers their vineyards, wine cellars, and products. I met this person recently in the form of Jim Lester of Wyncroft Winery in southwest Michigan. 

Jim doesn’t have a regular tasting room. He hasn’t delegated “customer relations” to a tasting room staff. He personally conducts private tastings for small groups of serious customers. 

Jim explained pruning techniques, root stock sources, and strains of his plantings of Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc, and other varieties. We trailed him through the vineyard as he darted from row to row telling us about the vines. I thought – here is a man who is truly passionate about what he does. He’s spent years studying and working his craft, and it shows.

From there we went to the cellar. A small cellar, about 30’x40’, with beautiful oak barrels stacked and scattered about. Jim climbed from barrel to barrel to share tastings of a few of his 2020 creations. Wow! He knew to the vineyard row from where each barrel’s grapes came. The detail was astounding. The product, even better.

Then upstairs to the laboratory and warehouse to taste a few more of his fine vintages (no tasting room, remember?). Had it not been for the cold, gray day, I would have thought I was in one of the fine wine regions of the world. Bordeaux. Burgundy. Napa. As I tasted these wines, their silky smoothness, their robustness, their great balance and fine characteristics, it was if I were in another world. 

But I wasn’t. Here I was in the Lake Michigan Shore AVA (American Viticultural Area) tasting some of the best wines I have ever had from Michigan. And perhaps some of the best wines I have had – period.

I drove home that day thinking to myself, this is what happens when you combine clear purpose with passion. You create not just an excellent product, but an excellent experience for your customers. How many of us can say this about what we do?

Dedicated to fueling your growth,


You can learn more about Jim and his wines at

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