The fist grapes were planted 153 years ago. But today, the Gem state’s wine industry is coming into its own. More than 50 wines dot the state from the top of the panhandle to the Nevada border. Legitimacy has come in the form of three federally recognized American Viticultural Areas (the Snake River Valley, the Lewis-Clark Valley, and the Eagle Foothills. Idaho wines are winning medals at international wine competitions across the national wine media is starting to pay attention.
Precept Wine, based in Seattle, dominates the Idaho wine landscape, owning two of the largest wineries (Ste. Chappelle and Sawtooth) and the state’s biggest vineyard (Skyline), which feeds grapes to much of the industry. We’re starting to see more vineyard plantings and new producers coming onto the scene. The state still seeks a signature grape and a greater abundance of grapes. The main growing region has a lot going for it: high-elevation vineyards, quality soils, reasonably wide open spaces, several talented winemakers coming into their own, and access to customers in a dynamic metro area (Boise).
Here are eight examples of Idaho wine we’ve tasted recently. Ask for them at your favorite wine merchant or contact the wineries directly.
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