Nevada Sunset Celebrates Hard-Won Status as Washoe County’s First Urban Winery
A venue designed to house three wineries on Reno’s 4th Street corridor celebrated its grand opening on Friday. Nevada Sunset Winery has also made its mark as Washoe County’s first urban winery.
The winery opened with eight varietals, including a Granache Rose produced with grapes from California’s Grace Patriot Vineyards. Owner Mike Steedman says they’ll unveil white wines and fruit wines in the coming months, and a few fun, seasonal products like mead.
Nevada Sunset is the anchor winery in the state’s only alternating proprietorship, a business structure that was illegal here until the waning days of the 2017 state legislative session. The alternating proprietorship permits multiple wineries under one roof, and is commonplace in California.
Steedman and two other local vintners planning to share the 4th Street space faced an uncertain future for the first half of 2017, after the Nevada Department of Taxation refused to approve the arrangement. An intensive round of lobbying pulled in support from some unlikely political quarters as the legislative session drew to a close. Steedman and assorted allies won passage for a bill allowing up to four wineries to operate in a single location.
The legislature during its 2015 session lifted a ban on commercial tasting rooms in Washoe and Clark Counties, paving the way for hobbyist winemakers in Nevada’s two largest counties to bring their products to market.
The next six weeks will see frenzied post-harvest activity at the 4th Street location, where Basin and Range Wines is also producing 2017 wines. The third entity is Great Basin Winery, LLC.