More than one member of Washoe County’s wine community has spotted the dying vines at the foot of Windy Hill. They’re noticeably brown and withered, even from a passing car. On closer inspection, there are some beautiful grapes hiding beneath the overgrowth.
Some local winemakers wince at the sight, given the shortage of Nevada grown grapes. One said he’d tried to locate the owner of the vines, and several wondered among themselves if they should just jump in and harvest, asking forgiveness if anyone complained. Or perhaps — if they could identify the owner — they could reach out and offer to tend the vines next season if nobody else will. Story continues below.
GBN located the management company for the adjacent Chardonnay Village development, which confirmed that the homeowners association owns the vines.
Darleen Reed of Equus Management told GBN the HOA members usually harvest the grapes each year, but not this year because they’ve been sprayed with pesticides.
“They’re usually picked clean within a day or two of when they’re ready,” Reed said. “There was some kind of a bug or something on them, so we sprayed them.” Story Continues below.
Indeed, makeshift signs are stuck in the grass. “Do Not Eat Grapes,” they warn. Reed said it was the contract landscape company that alerted Equus Management to the presence of a pest.
The homeowners would not be receptive to help from experts, said Reed, although she offered to pass along any messages, and gave GBN her email address. Inquiries should be sent through the Grape Basin News contact page.