When you think of Idaho, the first thing that probably pops into your mind is potatoes. Wine is probably the last thing that you would think of. That being said, wine has been Idaho’s big secret for quite some time. The word is quickly getting out that Idaho has got it going on in the wine game. Idaho was never on my travel list. I mean, sure, I love potatoes, but what would I possible do in Idaho. Could the wine be that good? I had tried a few wines from the region at a wine dinner in NYC. It definitely peaked my interest.
The Idaho Wine Commission invited me to come to check out their Lewis-Clark AVA which is an up and coming region. I’m happy to let you know that the rumors and reports are true. The wine in Idaho is pretty darn good and it’s a cool place to visit.
When I told people I was going on a wine trip to Lewiston, Idaho, some people looked stunned while others looked confused. Wine isn’t a new concept for the region. In fact, the Lewiston area has been planting wine grapes since 1860. Lewiston is the second largest city in the northern part of Idaho. It has a serene vibe which this city girl loved. There is lush land and crisp clean air with farm animals along the way into town.
There’s a little renaissance happening in the town on Main Street. Part of this is due to Ampersand Oil & Vinegar Tap House. Keely Garrity saw the need to bring quality olive and vinegar to the area. The gourmet shop offers cooking classes and other events to give palates a taste of global eats. It’s the kind of store that someone might be surprised to find in a small town. The Idaho folks are serious about good food, especially since there is so much farm to table in food in the region. We were treated to a lovely lunch at the shop paired with Vine 46 wines. They make wicked good red wines.
In the evening, we headed to the cute and cozy town of, Juliaetta, for dinner in the Colter’s Creek tasting room. Colter’s Creek is an award winning winery that has been crafting wine since 2007. They have a 30 acre vineyard with 14 different varietals from Lewis-Clark Valley grapes. Their focus is on blends including Grenache, Petit Verdot, Chardonnay, Riesling, and Negroamaro to name a few. The dinner was hosted with the winemakers, Mike Pearson and Melissa Sanborn. The farm to table dinner was a mix of a tasting meets storytelling, which is always the best part about spending time with a winemaker. Mike and Melissa use to be engineers before getting into wine. They also happen to be married and have a good love story. Make sure you get the love scoop when you visit the tasting room.
I was very impressed with all of their wines, but if I had to pick a favorite it would be their rosé. It would hold its own against a rosé from Italy or France. Their rose is jam packed with floral and citrus aromas .It paired wonderfully with everything on the table.
The good news on Colter’s Creek is that they ship to about 15 states so you just may be able to try their wine without traveling to Idaho. However, I do recommend going to Idaho to experience their wines.
If ever there is a good place to sip and chill it’s Lewiston. It’s a great little get away for the senses. The scenery is beautiful, the people are nice, and it’s a slow pace. A little bit of “Ida” will do you good.