Step Aside, Potatoes; It’s Time for Idaho Wine!

Anytime you visit a Five Guys hamburger restaurant, you’ll see a sign near the counter that lets you know exactly where the current stock of potatoes — used to make those overflowing cups of fries — were sourced.

They’re always from Idaho, in our experience, and it’s always fun to read the name of a community or region of that state with which we’re not familiar. Idaho grows a lot of potatoes.

But did you know it also grows a lot of grapes?

A recent visit to Coeur d’Alene Cellars brought that fact into focus. Located not far from the resort city’s historic downtown area, the winery has just a few rows of vines planted at this time, and sources virtually all of its grapes from Washington growers. It makes a Chardonnay, but its lineup of wines is dominated by reds.

Coeur d’Alene Cellars gives visitors an opportunity to taste wines by the glass or flight, and even allows them to put together their own flight of three 2-ounce pours from any current releases.

It’s really about a wine “experience,” as the wines can be accompanied by a charcuterie board with fresh-baked bread, as well as other tasty “nibbles.”

While Coeur d’Alene Cellars utilizes purchased grapes for the most part, there are numerous wineries in Idaho that embrace the winemaking process from vine to bottle. Here’s a look at some of the interesting “numbers” about Idaho wine (as of 2019)…

* Number of wine grape acres planted — 1,300.

* Tons harvested — 2,118.

* Number of wineries — 69.

* Elevation of vineyards — 600 to 3,000 feet above sea level.

* Cases produced annually — 160,000.

A great way to experience Idaho wine without traveling the length of the state — which spans 479 miles from north to south — is by attending the annual event known as Savor Idaho.

The 2022 edition is set for June 12 at the Idaho Botanical Garden in Boise. To learn more about the event, click here.

Posted in Our Wine Travel Log

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