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three Artesian Cellars in a tin bucket

Wine Through the Las Vegas Territory

France and Italy may be almost synonymous with wine, but they were neither the first, nor the last countries to make vino. In fact the oldest alcoholic beverage in the world is believed to be a “proto-wine” consisting of mixed fermented drink of rice, honey, and hawthorn fruit and/or grape dated to 7000-6600 BCE, which was discovered in China by researchers in 2004. “Ancient Wines” have early roots in China, Georgia, Greece, and the Middle East before being grown in the more commonly associated “Old World Wine” areas such as France, Italy, and Spain. During the Age of the Exploration, viticulture traveled the world and ushered in the “New World Wines” from the newly discovered regions such as the America’s and Australia.

Nowadays wine regions are popping up everywhere, and Nevada is no exception The Silver State has winery or two. 

Las Vegas

It’s no surprise that Las Vegas, often dubbed “sin city”, would be a place where you can imbibe on the nectar of the vine. Vegas has no shortage of restaurants with impressive menus, and there are quite a few stirring wine bars off-strip such as Garagiste in The Arts District or Ada’s Wine Bar + Food in Summerlin. But you don’t have to go all the way to Europe to enjoy fresh from the vine flavors. Nevada isn’t exactly the first place you think of when it comes to vineyards and production. But the ample sunshine and low humidity make for some very favorable elements of winemaking. And you’ll find Nevada’s winemaking story begins in Southern Nevada.

Pahrump

Charleston Peak Winery

Just outside the city of Las Vegas is the unincorporated town of Pahrump. This rural town is home to Nevada’s first winery – Pahrump Valley Winery, which opened in 1990 and has since earned nearly 400 national wine medals. As of this writing, the it is temporarily closed, as it transitions to new ownership who will be rebranding as Charleston Peak Winery. No opening date has been given yet, but you can check back on Charleston Peak Winery’s new website for the latest details.

Sanders Family Winery

Travel 45 minutes away from the Las Vegas Strip and you’ll find yourself immersed in the beautiful Italian-inspired Sanders Family Winery. At first you’ll be greeted by a statue of Teresa Lilianna, “The Wine Pourer” at the gates, and take in the sites of the tall Italian Cypress trees that line the estate flanked by two vineyards. The winery’s architecture is a renaissance period Italian Tuscan Villa and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains. The views alone are breathtaking, and a popular spot for hosting a romantic wine country wedding. 

Once inside you’ll be able to sip on their award-winning wines, including a free wine tasting. While they do not serve food on site, you are welcome to bring your own food in. The venue also offers regularly scheduled entertainment from comedy to all genres of music.

The owner of Sanders Family Winery showing a bottle of sparkling rose to a group
Sanders Family Winery (3)

Artesian Cellars

Artesian Cellars is another must-stop on the list, and if you’re doing these back-to-back, a great place to stop for lunch or dinner since they have a full menu of food including paninis, flatbreads, soups, and small bites. Artesian Cellars has nearly 20 wines available to purchase and taste on-site with grapes grown in California, Washington, and Nevada. The best part – if you find yourself craving the tastings after you get home – you can order them online and have them delivered, or join their wine club!

a bottle of red wine being poured into a glass
Artesian Cellars (2)

Henderson

Vegas Valley Winery and Grape Expectations

Rounding out the Southern Nevada wine scene is Henderson-based Vegas Valley Winery. The winery itself is one of the newest kids on the block, opening in 2017, but its sister company Grape Expectations, is a dedicated wine school that had been teaching enthusiasts the art of winemaking for more than a decade prior to that. If you’re a frequent visitor to Vegas (average 3-4 times per year) you could look into making your own vino with the school, which would be the coolest souvenir to take home for friends and family. But, if you’re just looking for the perfect sip, stop in at Vegas Valley Winery and enjoy one of their many award-winning wines and ciders alongside a personal pizza or charcuterie board. The venue also frequently hosts special events such as wine and yoga, unique crafting events, live music, comedy, and more!

Whether you travel over the hump to Pahrump, or visit the outskirts of Las Vegas, there’s plenty of vino to sip, savor and enjoy in Southern Nevada. Ready to plan your trip? We’ve got plenty of resources for you from transportation to hotels, tours and attractions, business services and much more!

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