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A Gust of Sun!
Erik & Shane Gustafson's interest in wine developed over many years. Before they met, Shane had taken a wine appreciation course at Purdue University. After they started dating, Shane found that Erik also had an interest in wine, and she convinced Erik to take the same course.
Numerous wine & cheese parties were hosted by the couple at Erik's apartment over the next few years. After getting married in 2008, they graduated to making wines in the basement of their Eldridge, IA home from kits, followed by making even more wine in their garage from local grapes. In the mean time, they would find themselves volunteering to work at local wine shops, helping to pour and talk about wines. Shane also enrolled in and completed U.C. Davis's online winemaking certification program.
Shane & Erik decided that starting a winery was in their future. As Erik was a native of Western NY state, they decided to focus their attentions on the grape growing regions in the state. Niagara County was an up and coming wine region that showed great promise to the couple, both in the quality of grapes being grown and the growth of the newly formed Niagara Wine Trail.
In early 2010 the couple found jobs in the region and moved out to Western NY. They found the property on 4515 Baer Rd, near the Niagara Escarpment in the summer of 2010 and moved in in November. That spring, remodeling of an Amish-style barn into a tasting room was begun by Morganti Contracting. The tasting room has won much acclaim thanks to their skilled workmanship.
Having formed the "A Gust of Sun, LLC" company, earlier that year, The Gustafsons were already making wines at Chateau Niagara in Newfane, NY, and when their license was approved, transferred the wine to their property. In the mean time, the couple was busy planting their first vineyard with frontenac and vignoles grapes, as well as giving birth to their son Caspian!
Jerod Thurber, a manager of Leonard Oakes Estate Winery in Medina, recommended his cousin-in-law Darelyn Songer as a graphic artist to help the winery come up with a logo. She had designed the iconic and award winning LOE oak leaf logo. After many revisions, the result is the blowing sun that we use today.
At the Buffalo Home & Garden Show, the couple met Rob & Sandy Starbird of Starbird Concepts, who design metal art. They were able to transform our logo into the work of art hanging outside our tasting room. The A Gust of Sun tasting room is still a satellite gallery for the Starbird's work, and can be purchased here. Our barrel sign by the road was created by Sign Language in Warsaw, NY
On August 26, 2011, A Gust of Sun officially opened it's doors to the public, featuring seven wines: Sweet & Dry Niagara, Dry & a Semi-Dry Riesling, Chardonnay, Three Westies White (a dry white blend), and Trismegistus (a dry red blend). That winter, Cabernet Franc would be added to the wines that were offered. , who design.
The Gustafsons had wanted to carry some sort of unique quality chocolate in their tasting room and were pleased when they were approached by Bonnie from Stuffed Chocolate in Amherst, NY. They were impressed with the quality of the Belgian chocolate that Stuffed Chocolate made, especially when they found out that the chocolate could be flavored with hundreds of different flavors. After several rigorous meetings where much wine was drunk and chocolate consumed, 5 unique chocolates were designed that pair magically with all of A Gust of Sun's current wine selections. This has become the basis for the much talked about "AGOS Tasting Plus" wine & chocolate pairing offered every weekend in the tasting room.
In the Spring of 2012, the winery rehired Dominic Morganti to renovate the upstairs of the tasting room into a lounge. The lounge was completed in June. The lounge boasts seating for up to 30, picture windows overlooking the pond and vineyard, wi-fi, a computer and projector for presentations or movies, books, board games, and extended evening hours for wine-by-the-glass-or-bottle purchases. The lounge is available to be booked for meetings or private parties as well.
Currently the winery is in the process of expanding. We have purchased more tanks in order to triple our winemaking capacity. We are excited to be adding several new wines to the menu this year, including Dry & Semi-Sweet Vignoles, Concord, Sweet Westies White, 4 kinds of Cabernet Franc, and Pinot Noir.
We also carry snack foods & non-alcoholic drinks to make the winery a more family friendly environment. Want some AGOS-branded merchandise? We have corkscrews, t-shirts, polos, hoodie sweatshirts, Christmas/Holiday ornaments, wine glasses and wine tumblers!
2013 marked the beginning of our wholesaling! We are looking to expand to local liquor stores and restaurants. Want us in your local store? Ask the managers to carry us!
A Gust of Sun Winery & Vineyard reviews
Spent a few hours looking to visit wineries and came across Gust of Sun. Terrific atmosphere and great customer service. And the wines are delicious. We sat on the patio and drank a slushie... more »
Friendly employees and a welcoming environment on a cold and snowy Saturday afternoon. We enjoyed some wines while the wind blew and the snow swirled outside. They have some great wines here. more »
We love Gust Of Sun! First winery my wife and I ever visited and still our favorite. We've been back many times and it's better each time. Super friendly and welcoming staff without the snobby atmosphere you get at some places. We love their tasting menu too, best around in my opinion. Nothing pretentious just a nice family business with great wines. The official kickoff to summer at my house is when I hang my sun from their gift shop over the grill!
We stopped here for a tasting a few weeks ago and have been back several times. They are one of the only wineries that pair chocolates with their wines and we have had a great experience each time. Stephanie is our favorite employee and always remembers us, making us feel right at home. They have a beautiful patio area with a pond and our toddler fed the fish while we enjoyed our bottle of unoaked Chardonnay. Truly a wonderful experience and of all of the wineries on the Niagara trail, I recommend this one the most.
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