Truckee River Winery was established 21 years ago by long time locals Russ and Joan Jones. They started the winery in their garage, making about 500 cases of Pinot Noir, Merlot and Chardonnay. In 1998, they moved out of the garage into a red barn right on the river. The red barn, with its picturesque aspen trees and river view was the perfect location for their winery. The new facility allowed the Jones’ to make over 1,000 cases of their quality wine. Now, 21 years later they have opened their first tasting room painted red and white, same as the barn, and fondly call it the ranch. Truckee locals and tourists can enjoy a glass while playing bocce ball or horseshoes. During the winter, customers can snuggle by the fireplace in the big rocker chairs and play checkers with friends.
Owner Russ Jones was born in Yosemite National Park, where he spent most of his childhood, until his family moved to Squaw Valley. While he learned how to ski in Yosemite, he learned how to ski race at Squaw. He spent his high school career ski racing and loving the snow. He graduated from UC Davis with a degree in Enology and Viticulture (wine making and grape growing). After graduation, Russ and his wife, who he met in high school, traveled through Oregon and Washington, where Russ worked at several wineries and perfected the Pinot Noir process. They moved back to Truckee to start a family, and Russ decided that the cool climates and the high altitude allow for the perfect wine making atmosphere. Truckee River Winery is the only winery in California where the winery is snowed in months out of the year and the winemaker skis in the morning and perfects his wine in the afternoon.
Truckee River Winery currently produces 6 varietals; Pinot Gris, tasty Red Table Wine, Old Vine Zinfandel, a dessert wine, and Garys’ vineyard Pinot Noir. Owner Russ Jones started Truckee River Winery with the vision of sourcing quality grapes, bringing the fruit to Truckee in order to take advantage of the high elevation and cold temperatures, to naturally cool the fermentation and slow down the barrel aging process, thus becoming the highest and coldest winery. Truckee River Winery’s focus from the beginning has been to produce hand crafted wines with great structure and finesse. Our award winning Pinot Noir is the winemaker's pride and joy.