Idaho Wine Commission
In The News
The intrigue of the fastest growing wine region in the United States led me on a journey to learn more about Idaho Wine. I left Napa on a very hot Friday afternoon to fly to the land of the unknown. I’d never traveled to Idaho but was inspired to learn it was the fastest-growing wine region in the United States. Pretty compelling stuff, particularly when you consider wine today is made in every state in the union.
After the past two years, Idaho’s wine industry is popping the cork on what it hopes will be a normal summer.
According to statistics from the Idaho Wine Commission, Idaho now has more than 75 wineries, which harvest more than 2,000 tons of grapes every year, producing more than 300,000 gallons of wine annually. Altogether, Idaho’s vineyards and wineries have an estimated annual impact of $210 million.
On a sultry day in early June, the front lawn of the Hells Canyon and Zhoo Zhoo winery feels like a tiny slice of Tuscany transported to Caldwell, Idaho. Soft music plays, sunlight falls gracefully through tree canopies, and the twisting length of the Snake River is visible far beyond the grapevines. It’s deeply serene. But the winery has an open secret: Both the wine and ambiance are made possible by solar power.
On Tuesday, Ada County Commissioners voted to allow Dude DeWalt Cellars on Highway 16 to become an event center on top of their winery approval with a few compromises. This comes after an hours-long, late-night hearing earlier this month where the board heard dueling appeals from both a nearby neighbor hoping for heavy restrictions on the winery and from the owner who wanted the ability to host more and larger events on the property.
When people think of Idaho, their next thought is often potatoes. But once you hit the Snake River Valley, you’ll find more grapes than you will spuds, and this year those grapes are celebrating a 15 year anniversary.
According to the Idaho Wine Commission, Idaho’s first American Viticultural Area opened in 2007. Over the years, it has grown from 15 wineries to more than 40, clearing the way for two more AVAs and producing more than 400,000 gallons of wine a year.
The 13th annual Idaho Wine and Cider Competition was held on May 24, showcasing the best wines Idaho has to offer.
The competition, organized by Great Northwest Wine, featured an elite panel of judges made up of writers, sommeliers, consultants, buyers and industry experts.
A total of 164 Idaho wines were evaluated as well as 13 cider entries.
Ahead of Idaho Wine month in June, a new slew of award-winning wines was crowned Tuesday, May 24 at the 13th Annual Idaho Wine Competition. Six judges swirled, sniffed, and sipped through the 164 entries submitted in hopes of awarding medals to the highest quality wines. And, I was once again fortunate to be among the judging team and able to gain an inside view into some of this year’s best Idaho wines.
BoiseDev – Wine wars: Ada County Commissioners approve one Eagle foothills winery, delay a decision on event center
Another week, another tense hearing in Ada County about wineries in the Eagle foothills.
On Wednesday night, the Ada County Commissioners sat up late into the night listening to testimony from residents and the winery industry about applications from two separate wineries to expand their operations in the area. The first was an application from 3100 Cellars on Artemisa Road for a permit to produce and sell wine on their property and the second application came from Dude DeWalt Cellars along Highway 16 to expand their operations to an event center and social hall along with their winery.
On Wednesday, the Ada County Commissioners appeared likely to deny an appeal to the commission that opposed a family business’s plan to produce wine on their property off Homer Road, north of Eagle.
Melanie Krause was a winemaking star on the rise at Château Ste. Michelle in Washington state when she returned to her native Idaho to make world-class Syrah in the Snake River Valley and launch Cinder Wines in 2008.
Idaho’s first official wine region celebrated its 15th anniversary last month. The Idaho Wine Commission announced in a press release that the Snake River Valley American Viticultural Area was designated on April 9, 2007, thanks to a group of Idaho wineries, vineyard owners, ag officials, and academics. The Snake River Valley AVA has grown from 15 wineries in 2007 to more than 40 today and has its own sub-region, the Eagle Foothills AVA.
Ada County is hoping to broker a compromise between cutting regulations on wineries in rural areas and neighbors hoping to keep their say over who can and cannot sell alcohol near their properties.
Last year not only served as the 20th anniversary of James Holesinsky’s eponymous wine program in Idaho’s largely overlooked Hagerman Valley, but it also marked a period of unequaled acclaim for the wines crafted by him and his chemist/wife, Caitlin.
The state is still better known for its potatoes than its grapes, but with 1,300 acres of vineyards, the wine scene is one of the Pacific Northwest’s best kept secrets. And women are leading the charge, like Idaho natives Leslie Preston and Melanie Krause, who cut their teeth in Napa Valley and Woodinville, Washington, respectively, before returning home to open two of the region’s most exciting wineries, Coiled and Cinder.
￼￼Growth and wine collide: Homeowners, winery industry clash as development comes to Eagle foothills
Once winter eases its grip, he tries to spend every minute possible enjoying his expansive wrap-around deck or working in his vineyard trimming vines with his two trusty golden retrievers at his side. His property is nestled in the Eagle foothills, largely surrounded by other small farms or single-family homes with expansive acreage. Pasculli’s home and multiple varieties of wine grape vines have a commanding view of the rolling hills off in the distance.
You’ve probably seen a burgeoning beverage category populating the portable drinks section of your local grocery store or wine shop in the last few years, and you’re wondering if it’s any good. Just like the newer, better versions of boxed wine, canned wine has been coming into its own, and both winemakers and retailers are taking note.
Nestled along the Clearwater River in southeastern Idaho lies a property that the Hewett family has called home since the 1950s, but their history in the area is much longer.
BOISE, Idaho — Lawmakers in Idaho, the fastest-growing state in the country for the past five years, are reviewing legislation that would make theirs only the second state to permit a 17-year-old to serve alcohol.
Stars, planets and the Milky Way have enthralled humans since we first gazed into the night sky. Unfortunately, in modern times, 80% of North American residents have lost their view of the cosmos to artificial light pollution.
After the wild ride that the past two years has been, we’re all itching to travel more in 2022. While that long-awaited trip to the Rhône Valley or Tuscany sounds incredibly dreamy right about now, due to the unpredictability that comes with travel these days, we realize a European vacation may not be in the cards right now. The good news is, you can still enjoy an amazing wine-fueled getaway this year… maybe just closer to home.