Don't think grapes can grow in the desert? Well, think again.
The Pahrump Valley Winery opened in 1990 and the first vines were planted shortly thereafter. Unfortunately, wild horses thought these young vines were dinner and they fell victim to this herd. The vines were lost only to be replanted a couple of years later, this time with a fence!
In the fall of 2002, we discovered the winery and felt it could have a bright future. The winery suffered from neglect and very little wine was actually made here. In January 2003 we took control of the ailing winery and began the long and much needed process of upgrading and renovating the entire property. We installed a brand new, fully functional wine production cellar including new stainless steel fermentation tanks, bottling line, grape crushing and pressing equipment, refrigeration and cooling system, new oak barrel room for aging wine, all new tasting room and expansion, guest lounge, substantial new vineyard plantings and upgraded the landscaped grounds. This complete and total renovation of the winery also included a new state of the art kitchen and complete remodel for our new restaurant, Symphony's.
The winery has a small estate vineyard planted in the early 1990’s and surprisingly, these vines had never been harvested. Fast forward to 2005 when we successfully harvested the first one and a half tons of Zinfandel grapes. This resulted in the 2008 release of Nevada's first ever commercial red wine, our 2005 Zinfandel. The wine is a medium bodied red wine with hints of cherry and cola. What is more surprising is this Zinfandel wine won "Gold" at the Pacific Rim International Wine Competition, making it Nevada's first Gold medal winner for a home grown wine. We also released the state's first commercial "inter-specific" or hybrid wine in 2009, our award-winning 2008 Frontenac. Now we like to say, we are "Bringing Gold to the Silver State".
We have been working for nearly a decade with various start up growers to help shape Nevada's grape growing industry. Not surprisingly, this has been meet with many challenges and the results have been mixed at times. However, we are now making great strides with several Nevada vineyards located in Pahrump Valley, Armargosa and Crystal Heights. We harvest over 10 acres of Nevada grapevines spread over 3 vineyards. Our Nevada grown harvest for 2012 exceeded 20 tons of grapes and the 2013 harvest yield was nearly 30 tons of grapes.
Here is a current list of our "Nevada" wines:
Primitivo and Tempranillo are first ever releases for Nevada. Silver State Red is a blend of Nevada Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Ruby Cabernet, Mouvedre & Syrah. Cinsaut Rose is a 2nd year bottling and our Zinfandel is in its 6th vintage. Here is a list of awards on our current Nevada wines and the NATIONAL WINE AWARDS they have received.
Here are some of our other "first ever" commercial Nevada Wines
We are extremely grateful to our grower partners and the incredible work they do providing us with high quality wine grapes. We continue to assist our valuable partners in developing a viable grape growing industry in Nevada. We're excited that over the coming months and years we will also release our first Nevada grown and produced Syrah, Tempranillo, Mourvedre, Barbera, Cinsaut and Primitivo. We will also continue to source grapes from some of the best growing regions of California such as Paso Robles, Lodi, Sierra Foothills and the North Coast.
We offer free 30 minute tours of the winery and the grounds at 11:30 / 1:30 / 3:30 everyday. We explain the history of the winery, growing grapes in Nevada and an overview on how we make wine. Our incredible good fortune has earned us nearly 400National Wine Awards since 2004. So please accept our personal invitation and learn more with a visit to "Nevada's Winery in the desert".
"Bringing Gold to the Silver State"
Bill & Gretchen Loken
Owners & Winemakers