Enjoy a different (and delicious) type of ghost this month – A ghost town. these deserted communities devoid of inhabitants are the eery inspiration behind Watertown Confectionery’s winery. 605 chatted with Ghost Town Winery owner Mike Marotz to find out more about the local vintages that aim to preserve history.

How did Ghost Town Winery get started?

Mike Marotz: When deciding on a name for our winery and our wines, we wanted something that corresponded with the state of South Dakota and our roots. Originally, we were actually going to name our wines after lakes and rivers in the state. However, we weren’t sure if we would be able to include the western part as much as we would have liked, since we have many more lakes and rivers on the eastern side. After a little more deliberation, we decided on ghost towns. It was really important for us to preserve history, and in some cases, the roots and the ties we have to these towns.

When deciding on wine names how do you pick a ghost town?

MM: We love the input of our customers and friends when choosing a new name for a wine. The people that we get to interact with all have different stories, and it’s great to hear from them and their history.

Do you have a favorite ghost town?

Mm: I can’t say that I have a favorite ghost town. However, there are some that are special to me, due to our family ties with the town. One of our wines is named after Grover, which was about eight miles from Watertown. My father grew up in Grover, and my grandfather worked at the old Grover elevator back in the 1920s.

Do you do wine tastings?

Mm: We do! Our wine tastings are like most other wine tastings. We offer you a wine glass as a souvenir, and you’re able to select up to five wines of the 15 we have on hand. It’s a fun experience for both small and large groups. However, if you are a group of eight or more, we do recommend calling ahead, so we can provide the best experience for your group.

I hear you can also make your own wine at Watertown Confectionery?

MM: Yes. This is especially popular for wedding gifts, because you’re able to customize the wine and bottle as you would like. Prices for this vary widely, but there is a minimum $50 fee for using the equipment. The time frame can also vary depending on the wine, but it typically takes two trips to the confectionery and five to seven weeks for your wine to be ready.

Along with Ghost Town Winery, Watertown Confectionery also has gourmet chocolates, roasted coffee, and other gifts. For more information visit  watertownconfectionery.net.

Pick Your Ghost Town


+ Grover 

Grover is one of Ghost Town Winery’s best-selling wines. This deep red wine is made with pomegranate, which gives this wine earthier and spicier notes compared to other wines on the list.

+ Travare
(2015 State Fair Best Seller)
This pinot grigio is a sweet wine with subtle hints of cranberry. A perfect wine for any occasion, it’s a mix of tart and sweet notes.

+ Annie Creek
(Marotz’s Personal Favorite)
This crisp sauvignon blanc is best served well-chilled. With light notes of apple and pear, this wine is sure to please.

On the Cover

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