Friday, September 27, 2013

Idaho Wine Country

There are nearly 70 vineyards and wineries in Idaho.[/caption]People have a tendency to think “potato” when it comes to Idaho - and that’s just fine. We’re proud of our potatoes - but you’re missing a bet if you’re not also thinking “wine.”

We’ve been growing wine grapes for nearly 100 years, now, and our rich, volcanic soil allows our vineyards to produce a diverse variety of quality wines. Great wine begins with great soil and Idaho's vintners consistently craft award-winning wines in styles ranging from classics like Merlots, Cabernet Sauvignons, and Chardonnays to lesser known varieties such as Tempranillos, Viogniers, and Mourvédres.

Idaho Wine Country is divided into three distinct regions: the Southwest, the Southeast, and the North. Each of these regions is geographically different from the others and, consequently, tends to focus on different types of wine making.

Idaho's wine industry was born in the Northern half of the state. Vineyards existed in the here as early as 1865 (!) and produced award-winning, internationally-recognized wines for decades. Prohibition brought things to a screeching halt, however, and it wasn’t until the past few decades that the attempt was made to revive the region. With all the awards wineries from the North-Central Idaho have since received, we’d say they‘re well on their way.

The Snake River Valley of Southwestern Idaho was the state's first region to be designated an American Viticultural Area (AVA) and now hosts the largest density of vineyards and wineries in the state. Similar to many famous wine regions around the world, the more than 8,000 square miles that make up Idaho’s AVA contain fertile, well-draining, volcanic soils at a climate and latitude that offers talented winemakers the opportunity to consistently deliver premium wines.

Winemakers on the rough and rocky, eastern side of the Snake River AVA take advantage of minerals inherent in the lava rock riddled ground to produce their wines. It is the pervasive calcium, iron, and magnesium of the rich, basalt soil that is vital to the health of the vine and allows them to complete the picture of Idaho’s success at wine making.

Idaho Wine Country

If you want to know more about Idaho’s wines and winemakers, please visit the Idaho Wine Commission at:

Idaho Lodging

With nearly 70 vineyards and wineries throughout the state, wherever you are in Idaho, there’s probably a vintner nearby. The same can be said of inns. Like the wine industry, Idaho’s bed and breakfasts rely upon the natural goodness of the land and a tireless effort on the part of the innkeepers to offer an unbeatable, unique product.

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