Churchill Vineyards is located in a target area where the United States Fish & Wildlife Service (USF&WS) has been purchasing farms. (USF&WS) has purchased several farms and removed over 20,000 acre feet of water in Churchill County to “preserve” wildlife. Seven (7) farms within a two mile radius of Churchill Vineyards have been purchased by USF&WS. The Farmsteads, homes, corrals, ditches, fences, etc are unoccupied and decaying on all seven USF&WS properties surrounding Churchill Vineyards. Wildlife has no feed after water rights are removed and fertile farmland is abandoned. In our opinion USF&WS has not considered the benefits farmers provide to wildlife habitat areas within Churchill County. Noxious weeds are growing in fields once planted to alfalfa. The underground water table is diminishing and neighboring domestic wells are drying up. There is no longer any economic value to the farmland USF&WS has acquired. When farmland water rights are permanently removed wildlife and citizens do not benefit. Churchill County’s property tax base is being seriously affected. Abandoned homes have been vandalized and most are completely destroyed. Retaining and preserving water rights on farm land is very important to preserving Nevada agriculture, wildlife habitats, and property tax values in Churchill County.
For the past ten years owners of Churchill Vineyards have been working to identify a high valued alternative crop which consumes less water in an effort to reclaim abandoned farmland in Churchill County. Your support will help Churchill Vineyards rebuild Nevada’s agriculture industry.
Churchill Vineyards is Nevada’s jewel attempting to create a new viticulture industry by planting fine wine grapes which consume only one tenth of the water hay and grain crops consume. Churchill Vineyards has reclaimed fertile farmland by planting high valued crops which consume less water. Churchill Vineyards is enhancing Nevada’s economy, providing feed for wildlife, promoting Nevada’s tourism industry, conserving Nevada’s water resources, and sustaining Nevada’s agriculture industry. Churchill Vineyards appreciates your support in this effort.
Primary Objective: Conserving Nevada’s water resources is CV’s primary objective. CV is working in cooperation with the several entities to identify and grow high valued alternative agriculture crops which consume less water. Test results indicate wine grapes require only 10% of the water used to irrigate alfalfa hay and grain crops. Alfalfa hay and grain crops consume between 1,140,000 and 1,466,000 gallons of water per acre annually. Grape vines grown in CV’s experimental test vineyards consume less than 100,000 gallons of water per acre annually.
Economical Benefits: Establishing a new wine industry will also enhance Nevada’s economy and is expected to create several new business enterprises. Economic studies in Sonoma, CA wine grape region conclude tourism has a larger impact on Sonoma’s economy than wine sales. Tourists travel to wine regions to taste and purchase wines but spend much more supporting other businesses such as motels, restaurants, clothing stores, novelty shops, mud baths, train rides, bus tours, theater events, etc.
Further Testing: CV has proven fine wine grapes can be grown in Nevada’s high desert area with limited water resources. Fine wine grapes take four to five years to mature. CV is still experimenting. Once vines have fully matured, CV will be able to determine production yields. CV is currently working to determine if vines will have consistent yields between 3 and 6 tons per acre. Once yields are reasonably assured, banks will be in a position to make loans to growers interested in planting fine wine grapes.