Tahoe Ridge Winery
Tahoe Ridge Winery
1644 Highway 395
Phone: (775) 783-1566
Contact: Rick Halbardier
Tahoe Ridge was once known as Churchill Vineyards back in 1990 when it was founded.
After years of experience in the technical, hospitality and agriculture business, Rick Halbardier had a vision: bringing wine grapes to the arid desert climate of Nevada. The goal: to lead the first full production winery in the state.
The venture started by pioneering the first research vineyard in 1990. By 1994 3 research vineyards were planted, two in the Carson Valley and one in the Pahrump Valley in Southern Nevada. With new success came a new name: Tahoe Ridge Winery.
Tahoe Ridge Crush
Tahoe Ridge continued to flourish and expand! They joined with the University of Nevada, Reno and built a three-acre vineyard after being awarded the USDA Hatch Grant and built an experimental research winery at home in Minden, Nevada. They began making wine from several unique Nevada grape varieties: Chardonnay, Semillon, Riesling, Cabernet Franc and Lemberger. Tahoe Ridge began pouring the wine and winning hearts at several public/charity wine tasting events in Nevada and California.
In 2000, at the Truckee River Winery, Tahoe Ridge entered the commercial wine arena with its first 8-ton/500 case harvest/crush of Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah.
Gary and Dot Peterson Vineyard.
Following the success of their first commercial year, Tahoe Ridge decided to move their wine production operation to the Olde Lockeford Winery Complex in Lockeford, CA. Five days after the tragedy of September 11th Tahoe Ridge released their first wines to the marketplace. Although this was a difficult time economically, Tahoe Ridge sold out of their first commercial wines by April 2002! This was a huge milestone.
Tahoe Ridge harvested and crushed the first commercial wine in the history of the state of Nevada. The Chardonnay grapes came from the Gardottie Vineyard in Gardnerville where they were processed, aged and released in the form of 465 bottles! Each bottle was signed, numbered and sold out in only two short weeks!
After such success at the Olde Lockeford Winery facility, Tahoe Ridge introduced some new grape varieties: Zinfandel, Barbera and Cabernet Franc.
Eventually the winery was moved to Minden, Nevada. By the 2005 harvest, Tahoe Ridge was setup in a new facility and eager to move forward with what is now the largest and longest harvest on record for the company. With over 100 tons of grapes, Tahoe Ridge made history again by conducting the first commercial grape crush to take place in Nevada and meeting their goal to build the first full production winery in the state.
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