Our 9.3 acre Buffalo Creek Ranch Vineyard is the highest elevation commercial vineyard in the U.S. Located smack dab on the faulted boundary between two of the major geologic provinces of our continent, it straddles both the Basin and Range and the Sierra Nevada. So while our vineyard sits in the former, the rootstocks sit in soils from the latter, sourced from the high granite peaks on the east shores of Lake Tahoe.
This location forms a perfect environment to produce low yield crops of our unique French-American hybrid grape varietals. Abundant sunshine produces measured fruit character, cool nights retain a firm acid profile slightly softened by potassium rich soils, and our arid climate reduces bacterial and fungal risks ubiquitous in many wine regions. And we do all of this at 5240’ elevation, making this one of the highest commercial vineyards in the country.
We farm with sustainable practices, never using any pesticide, herbicide, sulfur or any chemical treatments. We’re able to do that more easily than most wine regions and vineyards because of our low humidity, our persistent gentle winds and our grape varieties that were selected for our site by the University of Nevada. These French-American hybrids get half of their genetics from grape varieties native to the Americas and therefore more resistant than many French varieties to the challenges here.
This vineyard is run by hand power. Our hands. We pull weeds, replant vines, prune and harvest entirely with our hands, those of friends, and local help. We do get an occasional hand from an old John Deere.
Great wines are born from grapes that grow up with good scenery. Sandwiched between the craggy granites and the grass fields of the Carson River Valley, our vines share the land with creeks, ponds, almond and apples orchards, black bears and a large stand of Aspens. The vineyard is located one hour south of our winery in Reno, just down the street from Nevada’s oldest town, Genoa, and minutes away from Lake Tahoe.