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New winery in the works for Pahrump

A local entrepreneur is working to change the landscape of the wine industry in Pahrump.

Tim Burke, Pahrump resident and businessman, is planning what will eventually become Pahrump’s third winery—changing the scenery on the north side of Highway 160, near the Nye County line on the way to Las Vegas. Under Burke’s plan, grapevines will eventually dress a portion of a five-acre parcel just south of the Mountain Falls subdivision, on the north side of the highway.

“I’ve always been very passionate about the industry,” Burke said. “You have to be passionate and persistent.”

That’s because the time of planting, to becoming a production powerhouse in the wine industry, doesn’t come overnight. It can take several years before a wine label will land in a retail setting from the time a vine makes its way into soil.

“It takes four years from the time you plant the grapevine until you get a good production off of it,” Burke said.

It takes roughly five years before any revenue is generated after planting the vines, he said.

Burke, under his Artesian Cellars LLC, is up for the challenge, however, with his first planting on the five-acre parcel in Pahrump planned for October.

This isn’t Burke’s first time growing, he’s been planting his vines in Nevada for the past several years and is ready to launch a tasting room by mid-summer in Pahrump.

Burke said he is currently negotiating for commercial space where he will have his tasting room and production facility. Burke is also planning to have his wine available online for customers by the end of April at artesiancellars.com, he said.

Overall, Burke’s long-term plan is to construct new commercial space for a tasting room, a wine and spirits production facility and for other offerings, as well as having growing space for his grapevines, on what is currently vacant land near Manse Road and Highway 160. The empty parcel will eventually house Artesian Cellars’ Battle Born Vineyards, Winery and Distillery, set to attract locals and tourists.

Future plan

In addition to Burke’s selection of wines that he wants to have available at the future site on the south end of town, he is also planning to have a distillery at the location. Both spirits and wines will be available at the future site on Manse Road and Highway 160.

Until that project comes to fruition, he is planning on opening a wine and spirits tasting room in Pahrump, though he is still negotiating a location.

Burke is hoping to capture more business with offering a distillery and winery.

“The majority of people that go to wineries, especially 25-35, if you walk into a winery, it’s going to be mostly women,” Burke said. “Or if you go to a wine walk or something, it’s mostly women—husbands are in tow.”

Other attractions in Pahrump, such as the Front Sight Firearms Training Institute and the racetrack, which Burke said attracts a lot of men, could also be a boon for his plans of bringing a distillery to Pahrump.

The first planting at the vacant lot along Highway 160 is planned for October with 1,200 vines prospected to be planted at that time.

Burke grows on several sites across Nevada. He also sources grapes from California and Washington state. About 30 percent of his grapes comes from Nevada, Burke said.

He produced six tons in 2018, and he’s on schedule to do about 12 tons this year.

In the future, Burke said he hopes to produce about 30 tons of Nevada grapes.

Burke has a background in agriculture, growing up on a farm in Northern Nevada. He also has a background in management, marketing and sales in the beverage industry.

Burke worked as the director of marketing for Dr Pepper/Seven-Up for several years. Tim Burke is a freelance columnist for the Pahrump Valley Times. He won first place for column writing in 2018 in the Nevada Press Association contest (best local non-staff column.)

Burke has also worked in the dot-com and other industries and been a business owner over the years.

Nevada wine market

The new winery would be the third for the Pahrump area.

The other two are the Pahrump Valley Winery and the Sanders Family Winery, owned by Jack Sanders.

According to information on wineamerica.org, Nevada had 11 wineries at the end of 2017.

The wine industry footprint in Nevada generates close to $4.1 billion in economic activity, according to statistics from WineAmerica.

This was based on the production, distribution, sale and consumption of wine in Nevada, which benefits a multitude of sectors in the economy, according to WineAmerica.

“The Nevada wine industry directly employs as many as 16,381 people and generates an additional 6,240 jobs in supplier and ancillary industries which supply goods and services to the industry, and whose sales depend on the wine industry’s economic activity,” according to information on WineAmerica’s website. “Ultimately, 30,153 jobs are created and supported by the wine industry.”

The state’s wine industry also positively affects the state’s tourism and “generates sizable tax revenues on the local, state and national levels,” information on WineAmerica’s website stated about Nevada’s wine industry.

The national impact of the wine industry in 2017 was near $220 billion, according to information on WineAmerica’s website.

Contact reporter Jeffrey Meehan at jmeehan@pvtimes.com

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