Grown Locally: North Branch Winery of downtown Scottville.

November 11, 2021

Grown Locally: North Branch Winery of downtown Scottville.

Today, Mason County Press launches a new series, Grown Locally presented by House of Flavors Restaurant of Ludington. Grown Locally features locally owned businesses and locally produced products.

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

SCOTTVILLE — On July 5, 2021, Tom and Toni Doughty opened North Branch Winery, 126 S. Main St. After four months, they are very happy with their decision to invest in downtown Scottville. 

“We wouldn’t want to be anywhere else,” Toni said, “The community has been very supportive of us. We have had great customers, a combination of many locals and many out-of-town customers. The Scottville city government has been wonderful to work with. They are very willing to work with us and help resolve any challenges. We have just been made to feel very welcomed here.” 

North Branch Winery is a retirement career for Tom and Toni, who moved to Mason County from Indiana in 2017. Tom worked in emergency medical services and law enforcement. Toni works in health care has a goal of retiring from that work soon. 

Starting a winery in Scottville was an accumulation of a love of wine making and a desire to be in a small town. 

“We started getting into wine making a few years ago,” Tom said. “We would make wine for friends and family and just really enjoyed it. When we started looking at retiring, we thought that opening up a winery would be a nice change of pace. We spent a lot of time in Michigan and just really love the area.”

The Doughtys chose Scottville because of its location at the intersection of two highways, US 10 and US 31, and also because of the affordability of buildings.  

“We have been pleasantly surprised by how busy we have been,” Toni said. “We have a lot of local customers and also have had a lot of customers from cities like Grand Rapids and Holland and from Ohio and Illinois. Scottville actually gets a lot of tourist traffic because its in the center of the county, at the intersection of two highways and it also has the Pere Marquette River with two campgrounds.”

All the wine sold at the winery is made on location by Tom and Toni. There are currently nine different selections of wine and Tom plans to have up to 14 varieties by next summer. Much of the grapes and fruits in the wines are grown in Michigan. 

“We try to mix up the grapes between Michigan grapes and California grapes, just for some variety,” Toni said. “We try to buy as much locally grown fruit, to mix with the grapes, as much as possible.” 

Much of the fruit is purchased by Peterson Farms and Lewis Farms of Oceana County. 

The store features a tasting room along with an outdoor seating area. Tom and Toni are  already planning to expand into the building to the south of the current location. 

  Plans for the expanded space include adding food options, such as light lunches and charcuterie (cooked cold meats), and cheese plates. The space will also offer indoor seating (currently indoor seating is at the tasting bar) and a space that can be rented out for special events. 

North Branch Winery is currently open Sunday and Monday from noon to 6 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from noon to 8 p.m. Tom said the store may go down to three days per week during the winter and will then expand its hours again in the spring. 

For more information: 

North Branch Winery

Grown Locally is presented by House of Flavors Restaurant, 402 W. Ludington Ave., locally owned by the same family for over 70 years; 231.845.5785; Facebook. Now offering free dine-in ice cream with any meal after 11 a.m. through April 30, 2022. 

If you would like to make a suggestion for a locally owned business, service or product to be featured on Mason County Press, please send an email to Rob Alway, editor-in-chief: [email protected]. 

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