Growers Weigh Forming a Nevada Association

Nevada’s vision for viticulture is still up in the air, but the energy is palpable among the state’s northern vineyard owners.

Ripe fruit on Harvest Day in Northern Nevada, September of 2018. Photo: @GrapeBasinNews

A group of 15 gathered recently under the rubric Big Growers. Former Nevada Vines & Wines president Bill Coplin instigated the meeting, defining “big” as those with “existing or potential capability for 1000 vines or more or who represent groups with that potential.” Coplin envisions a statewide association could result from the effort.

An informal survey of attendees shows the group could put as many as 20,000 new vines in production within three years, according to meeting notes. Nevada Vines & Wines has estimated the state’s current vine count at 30,000.

Prospective association members are trying to identify shared viticulture issues, anticipating a “J curve market” – some call it a hockey stick —  a sharp increase in demand from Nevada’s growing commercial wine sector. Nevada wine will require more Nevada grapes, legally, and by industry protocol. Future meetings will examine the proper role for a growers association, using existing associations from other regions as a model.

Discussion at an October meeting was wide ranging, contemplating the contents of a formal mission statement (thus far unsettled), and Nevada’s cooler, high desert temperatures as a hedge against the effects of climate change. Some of the growers are also wine producers, and some intend to limit their activity to the vineyards.



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