Idaho Can Be Proud of More Than Potatoes!

The following information is from The News Tribune . You can read the full article there. Here is an excerpt. This is a really good article on Idaho wines and the Idaho wine industry. Enjoy!

Northwest Wine: Gem state can be proud of more than its potatoes

Snake River Valley wines coming into their own. T hanks to the increasing quality of Idaho vintners, Idaho’s wine industry is growing in stature and size.

Just three years ago, Idaho had 32 wineries. That has grown to 43, and inquiries about starting wineries come to the Idaho Wine Commission in Boise on a weekly basis. Most of the wineries are in the Snake River Valley, primarily around Caldwell and Nampa. A few are in the panhandle, and the Palouse region promises to be a growth area.

About 1,600 acres of vineyards are in Idaho, primarily in the Caldwell-Nampa region. The largest vineyard, Skyline, is 450 acres and owned by Precept Wines in Seattle. 

The Snake River Valley is high mountain desert, with elevations between 1,500 and 3,300 feet above sea level, much higher than other West Coast regions. This gives Idaho a distinct advantage, because warmer days and cooler nights help retain grapes’ important natural acidity and give resulting wines better balance. Shatz pointed out that while Idaho’s growing season is a little shorter than Washington’s, the Snake River Valley has few issues getting grapes ripe.

Fraser Vineyard 2009 Malbec, Snake River Valley, $25: Our 2011 Idaho Winery of the Year won a gold with this at the state competition, and it’s plain to see why. The nose features raspberry, cherries, chocolate and lime zest. The theme of raspberry and cherry continues with the drink. Black pepper, not tannin, is the focus of the finish.

Indian Creek Winery 2008 Pinot Noir, Snake River Valley, $15: This rare Idaho Pinot Noir offers aromas of violets, strawberries and Rainier cherries, followed by flavors of cranberries and red plums. It opens with bright elegant fruit that gives way to a rich midpalate and finish.

Read more: Northwest Wine Gem State

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