Fallon ranch launches distillery

Reported by: Terri Hendry
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Updated: 9/02/2014 7:13 pm
FALLON, Nev. (MyNews4.com & KRNV) -- The Frey Ranch is launching into a new venture some might say is a departure from traditional ranching.

The family-run ranch officially begin operations on their commercial estate distillery, where they will make gin, vodka, whiskey bourbon and other spirits.

The Frey family is no stranger to making alcohol. They operate Churchill Vineyards which produces both red and white wines.

Colby Frey is a fifth-generation Nevadan. He explained the distillery was a natural progression from that passion. "We've had the winery since 2006 and it was just a natural, because we've been growing grains in Nevada for 150 years. We wanted to make something out of it."

Frey said his family began experimenting with the wines producing brandy, which is a distilled spirit. But he was not allowed to sell the brandy until Nevada's alcohol laws changed. "We could age it, experiment with it, but we couldn't sell it until the new laws passed," said Frey.

The family released its brandy for public consumption a year ago, and sold out of all its 2,000 cases. They said this was Nevada's first legally-distilled spirit. The idea to make gin, vodka and bourbon came from making brandy. "Now we're taking what worked with our wines and brandy and doing it on a larger scale," Frey said. "We didn't feel comfortable building this fancy big building until after the new laws got passed."

The new distillery is 4,000 square feet. It features a stillroom, tank room, barreling room and a tasting room. The distillery also contains a custom-made Vendome, capable of producing up to 10,000 cases of spirits per month.

All of the spirits will be made from grains that are grown at the Frey Ranch, and will be distilled, produced, barreled and bottled near to where the grains were harvested. "Now we can actually produce a product out of the grains that we use and still sell it to the dairies in bulk and we get a by-product out of it in the middle," said Frey.

The whiskey bourbon will have to be aged between three to five years from now before it will be sold. The first batch of Frey Ranch gin and vodka will be available for tasting and limited purchase on October 11. Frey said under Nevada law, the distillery is not allowed to sell more than two bottles at a time.

Frey indicated there will be additional efforts to further change Nevada's alcohol laws. "You can go to a national store and buy 100 bottles of another name brand spirit made in another state. But you can't go to the local distillery and buy a local product, made by local people, made out of local ingredients and I don't understand why our state would limit us like that."

You can read more about the Frey Ranch spirits and wines Frey Ranch Estate Distillery and Churchill Vineyards on their websites.
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