• Volume 18 Number 2
    Spring 2009


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32. & 33.
John Doty, BS ’78
Kim Doty, Assoc. ’78

 French Lick, Ind.  •  Profiled: Winter ’03

Vineyard and winery owners

When John and Kim (Klingle) Doty opened a winery in French Lick in southern Indiana in 1995, they did it by following a master plan.

Their plan was to hang onto their day jobs until they were absolutely sure the winery could support their family.John and Kim Doty

John continued to work as vice president of the First Bank of Huntingburg while raising a small herd of cattle. Kim served as the postmaster of Dubois, Ind. But both wanted to retire to devote their full attention to the wine business. John even set a deadline of retiring before his 45th birthday.

Not only did he make it by a full year, but business has been so good that Kim was able to retire in January from her job of 28 years to take over marketing and promotions for the French Lick Winery & Coffee Co.

Their wines, some made from grapes grown on their Heaven’s View Vineyard in nearby Martin County, have received more than 250 awards in state, national and international competitions. They are sold at the winery and are distributed in more than 700 Indiana stores.

Success has come as no surprise to John — he always wanted to be involved in agriculture and has always been curious about specialty crops such as grapes.

But Kim thought her life would unfold a little differently.

“All of this never occurred to me. I had planned to establish a greenhouse and supply fresh flowers and plants to florists,” she says. “I was offered a job in the U.S. Postal Service shortly after graduation and couldn’t turn down the pay and benefits.”

The Dotys bottle and sell 21 different wines. Their business has been so successful that their two sons, Aaron and Nick, have joined them as full-time employees. And isn’t that just a little slice of heaven?