When people think of Las Vegas, they think of gambling and poker tournaments. At present, tens of thousands of players from around the world are currently playing at the World Series of Poker. You can bet that very few of them have ever thought of Las Vegas as a prime location for making wine. As it turns out, one of the fastest growing wineries in the US is located just on the outskirts of Las Vegas in Pahrump.
The Pahrump Valley Winery has been in business since 1990 and in that time, they have had a history that sounds like it came out of a fairy tale. The very first batch of grapes planted in 1990 were actually destroyed by wild horses and it was two years before another crop was attempted.
Fortunately, since that time the addition of both a fence and the recent developments in the Pahrump area have kept the wild horses at bay and the Bill and Gretchen Loken have went on to produce some of the best wine in the area. The big secret to their success is not any type of fancy technology, but partnerships with other vineyards in the state.
The climate of Nevada only allows certain grapes to grow in certain areas. For example, the best climate for red grapes is in the Pahrump area. That is why the Pahrump vineyard has produced the largest crop of red grapes in the state's history. The partnership with other state vineyards allowed them to expand beyond offering only Zinfadel and offer Cabernet Sauvignon, Frontenac, and Merlot.
Locals to Las Vegas knew of the rising vineyard and one of the Vegas locals just so happened to also work for several Chinese companies overseas. Once she discovered the Pahrump Valley Winery, Linda Wong brokered a deal with her companies that will see several fine restaurants in China offer wines from the Pahrump Valley Winery.
While Vegas may be known more for poker and blackjack, they may soon be known for fine wine thanks in large part to the Pahrump Valley Winery. The Lokens have proven that with hard work and the right partners, even the barren climate of Nevada can be used to produce fine wine.