Fallon Family Uncorks an Untapped Business - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Fallon Family Uncorks an Untapped Business

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As rare as winemaking in Fallon is, Churchill Vineyards is uncorking yet another untapped business. Colby Frey and his wife Ashley are the first in Nevada to be able to legally do what they've always dreamed of.

They family has been growing all types of grains at Churchill Vineyards in Fallon for more than 150 years. The grains will no longer be going only to dairy farms, now they're turning barley into bourbon.

Farming has been in the Frey family since the 1850's. Colby Frey says "this used to be a dairy and we just took down the corrals." He says they grew grain for their own cows, now they sell most of it.

Colby says, "Each (silo) holds about 70 tons" as he points to four large ones in the middle of their 1,200 acre farm. They also use a portion of their land to harvest wine grapes.

Colby's wife, Ashley who leads their wine tastings and tours says, "This building is primarily the winery; we sell about 1,000 cases a year."

Along with wine, they just released their first batch of brandy.

Since becoming the first distillery in Nevada to get their craft license, Churchill Vineyards will also try their hand at other spirits. "We'll take our corn, wheat, barley and rye and distill it into spirits," says Ashley.

Colby designed some of their distilling machines himself. Just like grapes, the grains will be mashed and the alcohol will be separated. "Your whiskeys, your brandies and bourbons they come out of the still clear. Then it goes into the barrel and it expands and contracts. That's why barrel aging is so important," explains Ashley.

Every step is under their watchful eye as the Freys turn their family business into one they hope to toast to for decades longer.

Their brandy is available now at Churchill Vineyards at 1045 Dodge Lane in Fallon. It will soon be for sale at stores across Northern Nevada. Their vodka and gin should be available early next year.

The bourbon and whiskey may take a bit longer since Colby says he would like to age that alcohol for 4 to 5 years, just like he does with his brandy.

Written by Neda Iranpour

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