Idaho Wines

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Idaho is considered by some part of the new frontier of wine-growing areas in the United States. But actually it has a long wine history. The first wineries in the Pacific-NW were located in Idaho, and Idaho had a nationally renowned wine industry until Prohibition closed the industry down". There are now over 40 wineries in Idaho with 1,600 acres of grapes planted with most in the southern part of the state along the Snake River Valley where 16 are located.

 

Since the 1970s, Idaho wine has been known for its cool climate white varietals like Riesling (including Ice wine), Chenin blanc, Chardonnay and Gewürztraminer. In recent years there have been an increased focus on red wine productions, notably Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. Located in the Pacific Northwest, the average vineyard in Idaho sits at an altitude of 1800 ft among the foot hills of the Rocky Mountains. The majority of the state's wineries are located in the Snake River valley west of Boise.

The Idaho wine industry has been a steadily growing community for the last 30 years with remarkable growth in the past decade. With 11 wineries in 2002, Idaho is now home to over 40, with 1,600 acres of grapes planted. In order to see the impact Idaho wine industry is having, the Idaho Wine Commission worked with Boise State University to create an economic impact story. The results were startling. It was found that the Idaho wine industry had a $73 million impact in 2008 and created nearly 625 jobs. This growth led to an increased visibility, more tourism, an enhanced reputation, and has created tremendous opportunity for expansion.

The industry will continue to grow as national wine consumption increases, as well as Idaho's grape growing potential. Idaho wines have been discovered across the country ranking 22nd in the nation. The Idaho wine industry is just in its infancy and is expected to see remarkable growth in the next 15 years. It is just coming into its own, receiving a great deal of recognition, and winemakers and growers are learning as they go while making great wine along the way.

(Click image below to view Idaho Wineries Maps)

The Snake River Valley in Southwestern Idaho and two counties in Oregon was officially designated an American Viticultural Area (AVA) by the US Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). A petition was filed by the growers in the Snake River Valley, the Idaho Grape Growers and Wine Producers Commission, and the Idaho Department of Commerce and Labor. The petition was granted in 2007, and for wines to bear the Snake River Valley AVA label, at least 85% of the grapes used for production must be grown in the designated area. Vintners may now use the term to describe Idaho and Oregon wines made from grapes grown in that geographic area.

 

Click below to listen to the exclusive VinVillageRadio interviews with
Moya Shatz, Dir. of the Idaho Grape Growers & Wine Producers Commission
and Melanie Krause, Winemaker and Owner of Cinder Winery/Tasting Room.

Moya Shatz Interview
Melanie Krause Interview

 

 

 

 


 

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