Northern Owners Gear Up for Annual Vineyard Tour August 3-4

Continuing its expansion of once-modest events into ambitious celebrations, Nevada Vines & Wines has reinvented its annual “backyard” vineyard tour. The 2019 tour will feature nearly double the number of vineyards, and has been stretched to a full weekend instead of one day.

“The primary reason for the event is to educate the public that we can grow grapes and make great wine here in Nevada, said organizer Stuart Michell, Vines & Wines vice president. “It’s a new, blossoming industry that’s growing every year.” Story continues below…

Stuart Michell gives instructions to vineyard owners at a planning meeting for the tour on July 13,2019. Photo:@GrapeBasinNews

The tour includes 22 vineyards with as few as 50 and as many as 6,000 vines. It covers a sprawling stretch of northern Nevada between Palomino Valley and Yerington. Vines & Wines has solicited northern Nevada’s car clubs as ticket distribution partners, hoping for synergy with Hot August Nights, which kicks off the same weekend of August 3 and 4.

Some of the recently planted vineyards were inspired when their owners took classes at the Wine Academy run by veteran viticulturist Joe Bernardo, of Basin and Range Cellars. At the other end of the spectrum are mature vineyards cultivated by Bernardo and others.

Mike and Christine Lenox are tending a 12-year-old Silver Springs vineyard started by Mike’s father as an experiment he launched to keep busy during retirement. His Riesling thrived, and was purchased for several years by Fallon’s Churchill Vineyards, which produced wine containing about 40 percent Lenox grapes, the couple says. Their vineyard, dubbed 9th Street Vineyard, will be open for the tour.

Dave and Atanda Clark own Shadow Lane Vineyards in Sparks, now 13 years old, growing several varieties including Chardonnay that produced several winning wines at the Vinny Awards.

“It’s always fun to have people come and see what you’ve done,” said Dave Clark, who is also on the tour map. “There’s lot of hard work that goes into that vineyard. And it looks like a Napa vineyard, I have to say.”

The two-day tour will wrap up Sunday afternoon with a party at the Tamarack Junction, where ticket holders can sample 20 or more Nevada wines. Tickets start at $60. More information at the Nevada Vines &Wines website.

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