Pairing a food guru with a business and hospitality master is a recipe for a spirited vineyard venture. Ten years after alumni Chad and Janet Johnson ('97) launched Dusted Valley with the Braunel family, the winery's Petite Sirah wine topped The Seattle Times Top 50 Wines of 2013 list and the Walla Walla Valley, Washington, winery made Wine &Spirits' 2013 Winery list.

Chad and Janet's road to success can be traced back to their UW-Stout days. "My academic experiences were top-notch and gave me a solid foundation in food science that transferred directly to crafting delicious wines," Chad says. "Janet capitalizes on her hospitality and business background to provide everyone with a heartfelt experience." 

Chad's appetite to own a business began at UW-Stout: "My internship with Herbie at the Bullfrog Fish Farm was invaluable and sparked my entrepreneurial spirit."

Other UW-Stout memories are personal: "I grew up visiting my Grandpa Vernon Rhodes at the Stout student union and eating the fantastic chocolate chip cookies. When I moved back to Wisconsin to finish college, it was like moving home. The crowning achievement was meeting Janet, falling in love and spending the rest of my days with her."

Visit Dusted Valley online: imawhyknow@dustedvalley.com or www.facebook.com/DustedValley.