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Unique winery in low tax environment
Date Posted:
Sunday, May 31st
Property Type:
Reno, NV
We are forced to sell due to health issues and severe time constraints. We have a secure and very favorable lease on the largest vineyard in Nevada at 10 acres, set in the Carson River Valley one hour from the urban winery in Reno. We are the only estate winery in Nevada and the only all-Nevada winery. All the other wineries (total of 8 in the State) get some of their fruit from CA. Ours is the highest or second highest commercial vineyard in the US but due to the dry/high pressure/sunny climate here we get ample growing degree days, enough even to do a late harvest white. We farm organically, and with ease bc of the low pressure from all molds, funguses, mildews, weeds, pests, etc. Very similar setting to Chile and Argentina, high and dry, set in the rain shadow on the lee side of a major mountain range which abuts the Pacific. We're in the granites of the Sierra Nevada, similar to most Sierra Foothills vineyards, much more favorable than the volcanic rocks elsewhere in NV. The land that the vineyard is set on is shared by an art center, whose works decorate the property, along with fruit and nut orchards, steel butressed bridges over creeks, an Aspen grove, shops and a John Deere tractor available to us.

We have great and inspired branding, quality packaging and our wines have been very well received. The wines are in many restaurants and stores in the Reno area, but there is a lot of room for growth b/c our distributor is very small, a sales force of one person. We haven't expanded oustide of the local area but are making an effort to do so now. We haven't done a lot of marketing but we have had good publicity and the wines are viewed very favorably. All of our marketing could use more attention. The coronavirus has made this even worse for us as our personnel has been very reduced due to their personal susceptibility to the virus.

We do all hybrid varietals, which contributes to the appeal of an already unusual off-the-beaten-path project. From four varietals, La Crosse, Brianna, Frontenac and St Croix, we do a sparkling white (Pet Nat from La Crosse), a still white in a light and bright Sauvignon Blanc style (La Crosse), a dry and lively rose (Frontenac), a fruit forward but very food friendly red (Frontenac), a bold, tannic, densely colored red very similar to Cab Sauv (St Croix) and a late harvest white gushing with pineapple, candied fruit and complexity (Brianna). I'm aware of the bias against hybrids in the wine industry and have become convinced in doing this project that the reason for that is because, since they were banned by the French govt in 1934, these varietals have just been condemned to obscurity. They're mostly grown in cool northern climates now, out of necessity, but when grown in a sunny climate like NV they made some very impressive wines. I've been genuinely and pleasantly surprised with the quality of the wines.

Our urban shared tasting room/co-op is near downtown Reno in the burgeoning Reno Brewery District. We have 5 breweries, three wineries, a meadery and a distillery within two blocks on the same street. The tasting room/winery is shared by two other wineries. Both have completely separate ownership and business models (mostly California wines). We share the cost of rent and share some winemaking equipment. We have a culture of comradery and are helpful to one another when needed.

This project needs someone with time and energy to devote to it. We are a partnership of two and my partner is elderly and his health has declined considerably recently and we have to get him out. I've had another career all along which I can't give up on and have cultivated this project as a hobby- it is more than a hobby now.
Contact Information
Wade Johnston