Nevada, with thousands of acres of barren desert, may seem like a strange place to have vineyards, and for most of the state that would be true. However, a small group of pioneers are making real progress in select areas and with certain grape varietals. While Nevada may never become another Napa Valley, we are proving every day that with patience, care, and yes a little luck it can be done! Here are a few of our partnering vineyards around the Silver State that we are proud to work with on our quest to harvest and produce successful Nevada wines.
This estate vineyard is located here at our winery and consists of Zinfandel and Syrah. Planted in the early 1990's, this Zinfandel vineyard is also Nevada's oldest commercially producing red grape vineyard.
The vineyard you are looking at here produced the state of Nevada's first commercial red wine in state history when it was harvested in 2005. You can imagine how delighted we were when these first 100 cases of Zinfandel, released in 2008, won 7 National Wine Awards, including a Gold! The 2006 vintage followed with another award winning year. It's easy to see that southern Nevada is becoming "Zinfandel" territory.
A major expansion of the vineyard in 2009 added Syrah and more Zinfandel. These vines began producing in very small amounts in 2011 and will develop further over the next few years. All the new vines are planted on drought resistant root stock and placed on a (VSP) vertical shoot position trellis system.
Jerry Nelson was an early founder of grape growing in Nevada. Jerry stubbornly insisted that he could grow wine grapes in southern Nevada when everyone else said it was impossible. Well, that's all he needed to hear. So, Jerry amazed everyone when his vines, planted in the 1990's, actually started to produce wine-worthy wines.
The vineyard was a "large" hobby for Jerry and his experimenting with numerous different varietals provided much needed information on how and what to grow in the Mojave desert. Some of the vines from this vineyard provided fruit for some of our earlier vintages. The knowledge gained from these early plantings gave way to optimism for others.
We are saddened at the loss of Jerry in December of 2011 and he will be missed. His dogged determination gave encouragement and inspiration to all that followed. He was a true Nevada pioneer.
Bob & Roni Regan began developing a three acre vineyard 30 miles north of Pahrump in 2003. Varietals include Zinfandel, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Ruby Cabernet.
Vines started to produce in small amounts in 2008 and the experience gained by the planting of these varietals has been invaluable. Their determination and hard work really paid off when we produced Nevada's first Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot from this vineyard. We've also been very impressed with the progress of the Zinfandel and Syrah varietals and consider those to be great prospects for future expansion.
We will continue working with Bob & Roni for years to come as they expand the vineyard contributing to Nevada's small but expanding grape growing industry and helping produce quality Nevada wines.
Dr. Roger & Nancy Gehring have the largest single vineyard in southern Nevada with 5 acres planted in 2005 of Primitivo, Syrah, Tempranillo, Barbera, Mourvedre and Cinsaut. These were all great choices for the area's climate and soil.
We recently partnered with Dr. Gehring to manage and purchase all the fruit from the 5 acres with another 5 acres planned for planting in 2013. The upcoming harvest in 2012 is expected to yield nearly 25 tons of wine grapes.
We are excited about the prospects this vineyard presents. In 2012 we will release our first wines from this vineyard. Never one to sit still, Dr. Gehring planted 1,000 olive trees at the vineyard and he expects the olive trees to be ready for their first harvest in late 2012. We are all ecstatic about the prospect of bringing real Nevada Olive Oil to market.