Jim, Dana Divis open Lone Point Cellars
By CHERYL SCHWEIZER
For the Basin Business Journal
BREWSTER — Lone Point Cellars is both a do-it-yourself project and a family business.
The winery is located at 6 Lakeview Way near Brewster. In addition to the vineyard and tasting room, there’s a restaurant and a limited number of guest cottages. Lone Point Cellars opened in June 2019.
Dana Divis, co-owner with her husband Jim, said they started discussing opening a winery as a way to do something different. Jim Divis is the manager of Honeybear Growers, a fruit processing warehouse near Brewster, while Dana had an independent business as an event planner. The Divis family also grows apples and pears on about 200 acres.
But apples, pears and events were getting to be a little routine, Dana said. So they started looking for a way to shake things up. Jim Divis had “started making wine as kind of a hobby,” Dana said, which prompted a discussion of options.
They purchased some land on Lakeview Way adjacent to their orchard, Dana said, where the owner had removed the orchard. They took out some of their own apple trees of older varieties and planted wine grapes.
The plan was to open a tasting room, but Dana said her experience made opening an event venue, including catering meals, a natural progression. People who were attending events on the property might need a place to stay, which prompted them to add lodging, Dana said.
“We opened June 29,” she said. “We’ve been running crazy ever since.”
Jim Divis is the winemaker, with the help of consultant Joe Hudon, of Richland. The vineyard is still in the process of maturation before the vines start to produce usable grapes.
“We’ve got a year to go,” Dana said.
Currently Lone Point is using purchased grapes, but the couple’s hope is to be able to produce wines entirely from their own grapes within three years.
The winery produces seven vintages, including five red wines, one white wine and one rosé. The labels feature a hunting dog on point, a tribute to the family dog who inspired the winery’s name. Grace was a member of the family for 15 years, Dana said. When the dog died, Jim Divis purchased a special shotgun, engraved with the picture of Grace on point. “The inspiration for this winery,” Dana said.
Jim Divis started running his orchard in the late 1980s, and in some ways that experience transfers to growing wine grapes. “Farming is kind of farming,” Dana said – some wine grapes, like some apple and pear varieties, are better suited for the Quad Cities. “Certain vines will grow in this area. Certain ones won’t,” she said.
The four Divis children also are involved in running the winery. Son Clay helps oversee the vineyard and production, and his wife Carly is the tasting room manager. “She’s the one you call when you have questions,” Dana said.
Dana and Jim’s daughter Kelsy Barker is the accountant, while their daughter Jamie Gebbers does the baking for the tasting room and restaurant.
The Lone Point tasting room and restaurant are open April through November. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner and hosts events throughout the summer.
Each Thursday during the season there’s a reservation-only dinner, with wine pairings chosen for each of four courses. “I’m also the chef,” Dana said. Lodging and use of the meeting space is available year-round.