LOUDONVILLE — Depending on how you look at it, the Ugly Bunny Winery is either in the middle of nowhere or just a stone’s throw away from everywhere.

Owners Chad and Sandy Marsh prefer to believe the latter, and they have the sales figures to back it up.

Ever since the winery opened at 16101 state Route 39 east of Loudonville two years ago, business has been crazy, according to Chad Marsh, who started winemaking as a hobby and then turned it into a business. The village of Loudonville straddles Ashland and Holmes counties, close to Mohican State park and forest.

“We’re just growing and growing,” said Sandy Marsh, “which is good.”

The dozen or so wines made by the winery are created using largely the fruit on site at the Marsh Vineyards at Mohican. In addition to the four acres of vines, the acreage also includes a small apple orchard and a few pear and peach trees.

The crop makes it possible for Ugly Bunny to offer Pearfect, a sweet white with a pear flavor, and Bling!, another sweet white with hints of white pear and green apple.

Still, Sandy Marsh said, the top seller is a sweet red, appropriately named Down the Rabbit Hole.

Ugly Bunny is more than a name; he’s a family pet, just a bit on the shaggy side and so “ugly” he’s actually kind of cute.

Customers, the Marshes say, come from here and there and everywhere.

“We get campers. We get people coming to Mohican, just for the day,” Sandy Marsh said. “People on their way to Berlin. We get travelers.”

They come for the wine and stay for the live music — sometimes provided by guitarist/keyboardist Chad — and for the food, including pizza, paninis and Bavarian pretzels. Desserts include apple pie and raspberry brie phyllo.

In order to give the staff a break from kitchen duty, the Marshes also invite food trucks, including Moto Pizza, which will be onsite Saturday, beginning at 4 p.m.

Live music happens every Friday and Saturday. Chad Marsh said he’s found “country, bluegrassy stuff seems to go over best.”

If there’s anything close to a house band, it’d be the Smith Brothers, who have a standing monthly date, something Marsh said he doesn’t even allow himself.

Customers, Sandy Marsh said, “feel like they’re at a friend’s house. It’s homey. It’s relaxing.” The current hours are Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m., though those will change on Oct. 1 to 4-9 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 1-9 p.m. Saturday.

Ugly Bunny is open all year long.

“It’s beautiful when it snows,” Sandy Marsh said. “It’s like being in a snow globe.”

Ugly Bunny also has started to offer winery-made hard ciders — a fresh apple, a berry version and a caramel offering called Sticky Buns. And if you like a wine-and-ice pairing, wine slushies also are available.

In the future, Sandy Marsh said, the winery hopes to offer a hop-infused hard cider, already named Hippity Hop.

There’s likely more to come from Ugly Bunny, even as Chad Marsh has sharpened his winemaking skills through courses at Kent State University-Ashtabula. At this point, the wines can be purchased only at the site.

“We’re not making enough to distribute just yet. We run out here,” said Sandy Marsh. “One day, we’re going to get there.”

 

Tami Mosser can be reached at 330-287-1655 or tmosser@the-daily-record.com.