Growing Grapes in Nevada

Extremely cold temperatures are the biggest hindrance to grape growing in Nevada because grapes are accustomed to mild Mediterranean climates. During the winter, constant exposure to extreme elements such as the sun, wind, freezing, thawing and rehydration, stresses the grapes and eventually kills them. However, there is a small but growing wine industry in this region, pioneered by Tahoe Ridge Winery. As of 2005, ten tons of Nevada wine were produced from 15 acres of vinifera plantations. According to research by Dr. Bruce Wright of Cornell University, the solution to the climate problems in Nevada is planting “inter-specific varietals” and using cane technology. As of 2004, Tahoe Ridge Winery found four wine varieties to be commercially viable in Nevada. These are Chardonnay, Lemberger, Riesling, and Semillon.

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