By Alexa Chipman May 1, 2017
Towering red cliffs and wide desert filled with Joshua trees surrounds Las Vegas, meandering through dusty roads to the town of Pahrump. An eclectic mix of independent survivors in rustic trailers and exquisite homes, it is not where you would expect to find a renowned winery. In a landscape of brush and rabbits, it was the first Nevada winery, but was neglected until 2003 when entrepreneurs Bill and Gretchen Loken stumbled across the opportunity to renovate and expand the business. It did not take long for them to fall in love with the art of winemaking, and their enthusiasm for Nevada wine has propelled them toward a goal of using local grapes. In the last few years, they have been busy planting vineyards around the state, and while California grapes heavily supplement their current wine, they are determined to turn that around and have at least 75% Nevada grapes in the next few years. They currently offer seven entirely Nevada grown wines and bottle about 9,000 cases per year.