Post-COVID Energy Fuels Lively Wine Events Calendar: A Spring and Summer Preview

The Morgan family: Mike, Christine, Courtney, and niece Kylie Johnson, set up to sell cookies at Nevada Sunset Winery on March 5, 2020.

Nevada’s wine community is again buzzing with special events, after two years of roller coaster COVID restrictions. Here’s a preview of some scheduled events.

Nevada Sunset Winery on Thursday, March 3 will revive its Girl Scout Cookie and Wine pairing event. The winery has packed the house in past years experimenting with combinations like Cabernet Franc and Samoas, a coconut, caramel and chocolate cookie.

Nevada Sunset will contribute half of the $20 dollar admission fee to Girl Scouts of the Sierra Nevada, and 20 percent of the evening’s retail sales. Pairing goes from 4 p.m. until 8, and yes, full boxes of the cookies will be available for purchase.

If you missed last week’s Nevada Vines & Wines pairing featuring Italian wines, Carmelo Messina will pour again on Saturday, March 5 at the Artesian Cellars tasting room in Pahrump. The winery is teasing six wines with perfect food pairings. Messina is a Gold Pin sommelier of the Italian Sommelier Association. He teaches about the history and culture of Italian wines. RSVP here.

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Carmelo Messina pours Italian wine for Sherry and Michael Brady at  Vines & Wines Pairing event on February 24, 2022. Photo: Grape Basin News

Winemakers Dan Shore and Mitch Strominger get professional evaluations June of 2021. Photo: Grape Basin News

Nevada Grape Growers and Winemakers is again offering professional evaluations for winemakers on Wednesday, March 23. Winemakers can bring one or two bottles for a critique by working sommeliers. The professionals will taste, and then offer their opinions to the winemakers. * correction below

Winemakers are hungry for this kind of constructive criticism, says NGGW president Stuart Michell. Even experienced winemakers praised the format and the honest feedback from past evaluations.

“Danni and Gary did a beautiful job,” Michell said of a previous evaluation done by somms Dani Morris and Gary Steininger. “They weren’t mean, they weren’t critical. They were very thoughtful in their comments and suggestions and the members were receptive.” The session is limited to 12 participants, who may bring one or two bottles each. Registration here.

Kathi Russell works at her Palomino Vines Vineyard on September 9, 2020,. Photo: Grape Basin News

NNGW was also tapped recently for expertise by Truckee Meadows Community College.

“TMCC reached out to us,” Michell told Grape Basin News, seeking an instructor for public education classes on viticulture. “We jumped at it,” he said.

Kathi Russel of Palomino Vines will teach a three-session class on starting a vineyard. Separately. veteran winemaker Greg Ross of Walker River Estate will teach three sessions on winemaking. Each will offer students a chance to visit the instructor’s own vineyard.

Registration for the classes will be through TMCC. Dates to come.

Retired Pahrump Valley Winery owners Bill Loken (second from left) and Gretchen Loken (right), sporting hippie clothing with friends at the Bacchus Awards on August 7, 2021

Winemaker training has been available for years in Las Vegas at the Grape Expectations School of Winemaking. The school will throw open its doors to visitors on Tuesday, March 8 for tasting and an introduction to its winemaking program. More info here.

GrapeEx has also announced the theme for its 2022 Bacchus Awards on Saturday, August 6 at the Orleans in Las Vegas. “Peace Love and Wine” will no doubt inspire 1960s attire, which was plentiful at the Halloween-themed 2021 awards.

April will kick off a series of Vineyard Tours hosted by NGGW’s vineyard owners. The events are intended to be educational, and are limited to current growers and those with interest in starting a vineyard. Inquiries here.

* GBN originally reported that Dani Morris and Gary Steininger will perform the March 23 evaluations. The sommeliers for March 23 have not yet been announced. 



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