elevations (ranging up to 3,000 feet) are higher than most others in
the Northwest and soils are comprised of primarily volcanic-ash.
Add to that long, warm daylight hours during grape-growing season -
typical of northern latitudes and arid climates, cool summer
evenings characteristic of desert environments and you have a
combination of factors that contributes to producing quality wine
grapes with concentrated fruit flavors and naturally high acidities.
And that is the foundation of Idaho's growing wine industry.
Most of Idaho's wineries are concentrated
along the southwestern portion of the Snake River Valley.
Half a dozen more are clustered in the
eastern part of the
Snake River Valley appellation, between Mountain
Home and Twin Falls, and three others are north of Twin
Falls, off of Hwy 93 in Ketchum near Sun Valley. The
northern part of Idaho State
is home to another six wineries with 14 more close by, just
west across the Washington border.
The Snake River Valley became
Idaho's first appellation
in 2007, authorized by the US Department of the Treasury's
Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). The
climatic influence of the Snake River creates a favorable
growing environment for vinifera grapes, as do other great
rivers in premium winegrowing areas worldwide.
Although few grapes are grown in Idaho's spectacular north
country (referred to as the "Panhandle"), the six wineries
currently located there create distinctive wines from many
fine vineyards located in the Snake River Valley and Eastern
Most Idaho wineries are small and only a few have a presence on the
wine lists of restaurants outside the state -- although that number
is growing. Likewise, Idaho wines are somewhat scarce on the
shelves of wine shops outside the local area.
The best and most rewarding
way to access a wide array of Idaho's distinctive wines is to plan a
visit to the winery tasting rooms themselves.
The map and links
below allow you to explore the wines and wineries of each of
Idaho's wine producing areas. You will also find
special events and
organized within these regions. Click on the region of your
Copyright © 1997 -
January, 2014 Susan R. O'Hara.
All rights reserved.
2013 - 50
2010 - 40+ wineries
2008 - 32 wineries
2006 - 23 wineries
2003 - 15 wineries
1998 - 13 wineries
2013 - 1,500
2006 - 1,500
2003 - 1,300
1998 - 820
Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Chenin
Blanc, Fumé Blanc, Gewürztraminer,
Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir,
Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Syrah
Malbec, Petite Syrah,
Petite Verdot, Tempranillo,
Tinta Cão, Touriga Nacional,
Touriga Francesa, Zinfandel
Fruit Wines & Brandies
Ice Wines & Late-Harvest
Idaho's wine industry contributed $73 million to the
state's economy in 2012.