Nevada’s largest producing and most successful Winery, Pahrump Valley Winery, has completed a $1.7 million expansion. Owners since 2004, Bill and Gretchen Loken started the expansion in the summer of 2017 with only 1,800 square feet of production area. The new expansion added 7,000 square feet for wine production, an automated bottling line and event space in the barrel room.
“Our monumental investment to Nevada’s wine industry can more than triple our production from 9,500 cases annually to a potential of nearly 40,000 cases,” states co-owner Bill Loken. “We’re excited to have a new, innovative and state of the art wine production facility that expands our capabilities including a new fully automated bottling line.”
Highlights of the expansion include 12 new gleaming stainless-steel fermentation tanks custom-made in Germany, some standing more than 12 feet tall and having a duplex configuration so two wines can be produced in the floor space of one. The tanks now occupy a new room attached to the original winery.
The new bottling line, imported from Italy, is capable of handling 2,000 bottles per hour with only three people operating it. Previously the old bottling line required eight people to fill only 500 bottles per hour. And the new line can handle screw caps, as well as corks and labeling.
250 oak barrels, American, French and Hungarian, each with their own unique quality, serve as wine aging vessels in what Gretchen Loken refers to as her “winemaker’s spice rack.”
The old winery has been completely gutted with new lighting, flooring and new storage space to hold up to 19,000 cases of wine.
A new event space in the barrel-aging room is capable to host up to 75 persons for weddings, vow renewals, special events, winemaker dinners and meetings.
The property has gone through multiple upgrades over the past 14 years since the Loken’s took ownership.
The Loken’s are proud to be “bringing gold to the silver state.” Since 2004, they’ve been producing nationally recognized wines as Nevada’s largest and most successful winery, having received to date over 460 national wine awards with 113 of those for the Nevada-grown only wines. Although mostly desert, Nevada is a great place to grow grapes, Loken added. The southern, hot climate is suited for grapes destined for red wine, while cooler areas produce white wine grapes.
“Grapes grow in the desert around the world, although we’re not used to thinking about it in Nevada,” he said. “But we have proven that you can produce award-winning wines with Nevada-grown grapes.”
2018 harvest season was completed by the Loken’s and their staff of 10 who hand-picked grapes over several weeks from July through September. “We harvested a whopping 45 tons of Nevada-grown grapes from nearly 15 acres of vines spread over five vineyards, with two acres of estate vineyard Zinfandel and Syrah varietals at our Pahrump Valley Winery, five acres in Armargosa, two acres in Crystal Heights and five acres in Dyer,” says co-owner Gretchen Loken, and “that’s an increase of five tons since last year’s harvest.”
One healthy grape vine can produce up to five bottles of wine, and one ton of wine will produce 65 cases of Nevada-produced wines. The grown in Nevada wine offerings have grown to 10 varietals. The winery currently produces 120,000 bottles of total wine per year.
Guests may buy and sample, based on availability, the history-making Nevada Ridge wines, Barbera, Mourvedre, Primitivo, Silver State Red, Syrah, Tempranillo and Zinfandel all made with Nevada grown grapes and produced at the Winery. These wines have garnered 21 gold, 61 silver and 31 bronze medals from national wine competitions.
Other popular wines sold at the Winery include Symphony, Chardonnay, Desert Blush, Burgundy, Sweet Melody, Merlot, Crème Sherry and others.
Pahrump Valley Winery is located at 3810 Winery Road, Pahrump, NV 89048 and is open seven days a week, except some holidays and special events. The tasting room opens daily at 10:30 a.m. and tastings are free for individuals. Group tasting for eight or more is $5 per person and reservations are required in advance.
Public tours are held at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. most days, except on holidays. The upscale casual Symphony’s Restaurant opens daily at 11:30 a.m. and reservations for dinner are highly recommended. Note the Winery is closed for holidays including Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve at 4:00 p.m., Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. For more information visit www.pahrumpvalleywinery.com, or call 775-751-7800.