Pahrump, Nev. – Nevada-based winemakers Bill and Gretchen Loken of Pahrump Valley Winery have struck gold and are garnering international acclaim with Nevada’s first red wine to ever receive a gold medal. The 2005 Nevada Ridge Zinfandel won “Gold” at the 2009 Pacific Rim International Wine Competition, and it’s the silver state’s first commercial red wine produced from zinfandel grapes grown solely at this family-owned vineyard in Southern Nevada – located just one hour from the world famous Las Vegas Strip in the Mojave desert.
In all, the Winery in 2009 has racked up 51 national wine awards, including 10 gold, 21 silver and 20 bronze medals. Other gold medal winners are:
Two gold medals went to the winery’s 2005 Syrah, awarded at 2009 Indy International and 2009 Pacific Rim International Wine Competition;
Four gold medals awarded to 2007 Symphony at the 2009 Pacific Rim International Wine Competition, 2009 Riverside Wine competition, 2009 San Diego International Wine Competition, 2009 Amenti Del Vino Competition;
Two gold medals awarded to 2007 Peak White at 2009 Amenti Del Vino Competition and 2009 Taster’s Guild;
Pahrump Valley Winery is Nevada’s oldest and largest selling winery founded in March 1990. The Loken’s became management consultants to the winery in 2003, took ownership in 2005, and since have made major renovations. Co-owner and viticulturalist Gretchen Loken last year received a certificate in wine-making from UC Davis.
The Loken’s are helping pioneer the way for a wine industry in Nevada. Their 2005 Nevada Ridge Zinfandel released in 2008 marked the beginning of an award-winning, grape-growing industry, which has the potential to grow into a sustainable business in Nevada’s arid climate. “It only takes one tenth the water of alfalfa in Nevada to grow grapes,” said Bill Loken. The Loken’s aim to offer outstanding wine of quality and value, made through modern winemaking techniques and old world traditions.
Together, they’ve expanded the vineyard from 350 vines to its current 1,500-plus vines of Zinfandel and Syrah grapes planted amidst three acres. “We have a ton of sunshine in the Nevada desert, and both of these grapes love the hot sun,” added Gretchen. The winery is also sourcing grapes from over a half dozen start up grape growers in Nevada.
Three helicopter pads have been added, attracting Strip casinos and helicopter tours to fly in cust omers, along with the e xpanded barrel room with many oak barrels aging wine. The beautifully appointed tasting room has a comfortable seating area and displays an exhibit of the Winery’s 188 international and national wine awards received since 200 4. The winery will produce 10,000 cases of wine this year alone.
The picturesque Pahrump Valley Winery and its Zagat-rated Symphony ’s Restaurant, which offers a spectacular view of the Mt. Charleston Peak, are nestled on nearly 10 acres at 3810 Winery Road, Pahrump, Nev. and is o pen daily. Winery tours, wine tastings, and weddings at the winery’s beautiful rose garden gazebo are offered. For reservations or more information call 800-368-9463 or 775-751-7800, or go online to www.pahrumpwinery.com. 2010 marks the 20th Anniversary.