Former professors of the Paper Science Department at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point have recently poured their efforts into a Stevens Point winery.
Kelly and Don Guay opened Sunset Point Winery in July 2015.
“We were looking for something in the area where we could help out,” said Kelly.
The winery’s first order for bulk actually came from Great Northern Distillery to make brandy. Today their wine collection includes white, red, fruity and dessert wines.
The lower level of the building is where wine is made, using grapes from all around the world to create a variety of classics. They make Cabernet, Sauvigon Blanc, or Sangiovese as well as specialty wines with a twist. Fresh and local fruit concentrates are used in the sweeter wines.
In addition to wine, they serve craft beer, soda and snacks such as cheese, caramel corn, toffee and a variety of cranberry items.
Mr. and Mrs. Guay continue working full-time in the paper industry but rely on family, friends and trusted employees to run the winery.
Servers at Sunset Point Winery are trained to direct the tasting bar. They work with customers to determine which wines to try and which wine customers prefer.
Lauren Nachtigall, former communication major and server at Steven’s Point Winery coordinates all distribution sales, winemaking and event planning. She works to showcase other local businesses: Clay Corner studio, Charcoal Expressions and Diversitea while coordinating events such as: coloring night, painting canvases and wine glasses, charcoal art, live music, comedian acts, and open mic.
“My favorite part about working at the winery is the variety of people,” Nachtigall said. “[I] love the variety and diversity of people who come in… whether they know and love wine or are just branching out of their comfort zone. It is extremely rewarding being part of their experience.”
Sunset Point Winery is located in the old Point Bakery downtown. The wine bottle chandeliers, wood flooring, skylights, hammock chairs and patio tables contribute to a casual, relaxed and welcoming atmosphere.
“I want students to know they are more than welcome to come enjoy our space,” Mrs. Guay said. “It’s very quiet in the early afternoon hours, so come grab a glass of wine and do homework in a new environment.”
Students that are not yet 21 are encouraged to visit with friends and participate in art event nights while enjoying sodas and snacks.
The winery is open Tuesday through Sunday and offers tours on Wednesday evenings and Saturday afternoons. Mrs. Guay suggested bringing parents or friends visiting from out of town to tour the winery.
Sunset Point wine is also available at the Basement Brewhaus in the Dreyfus University Center on the UWSP campus.