15th Annual Idaho Wine & Cider Competition Results

The 15th annual Idaho Wine & Cider Competition was held on Tuesday, May 21, 2024 at Koenig Vineyards in the heart of the Snake River Valley American Viticultural Area. The competition is sponsored by Great Northwest Wine, a regional media company based in Washington state, as a collaborative effort with the Idaho Wine Commission. 

In this year’s competition, 199 wines and 11 ciders were blind tasted and evaluated by a panel of distinguished judges. Find out which Idaho wineries and cideries took home the gold!

award-winning bottles of Idaho wines sitting on a ledge in front of vineyard

The Judging Process

The judging panel consists of winemakers, sommeliers, journalists, wine buyers and educators from throughout the country. The judges evaluate similar wines in one setting. For example, all Merlots are brought out and judged at the same time. During one setting, up to eight different glasses of wine are evaluated at once. Each glass is labeled ‘Merlot 1’, ‘Merlot 2’, etc, to ensure the wines are judged blindly and without bias. The judges smell, taste, and taste again each sample, taking notes on a printed form. Each judge then writes down what award they believe the wine merits.

After tasting each wine, judges submit their written comments to a moderator who enters each judge’s award into a spreadsheet. The moderator reads aloud the awards given to a particular wine. At the Idaho Wine & Cider Competition, decisions are made by "majority rule."


The Awards 

Once the votes are captured from the judges and calculated by the moderator, a wine can be awarded one of four medals: Bronze, Silver, Gold or Double Gold. Bronze is the third highest award given, Silver is the second highest, and Gold is the highest. 

A Double Gold Medal is rare. This award signifies a unanimous decision of a Gold Medal by each person on the panel, without any prior discussion.

At the end of the competition, each wine awarded a Gold or Double Gold Medal is once again evaluated by all nine judges. The judges go through the same process and rank the wines on paper and pick their favorites. The gold-winning red and white wines are narrowed down to the top two or three, and then judges taste them again and are asked to vote for a Best-In Class wine with a show of hands.

The Winners

Listed below are the gold, double gold and best of show wine and cider award winners at this year’s Idaho Wine & Cider Competition. Check out the full list of the competition results including silver and bronze winners!

The award-winners listed below are structured by: Winery name - year the grapes were harvested, type of wine and growing region. A special congratulations to Highpoint Cider for being the top ranked cider three years in a row! And be sure to keep your eye out for Famici Wine Co., which was awarded the 2024 Idaho Winery to Watch!

Best of Show / Best Red Wine / Double Gold Medal

Veer Wine Project - 2022 Garnacha, Snake River Valley

Best White Wine / Double Gold Medal

Huston Vineyards - 2023 Chicken Dinner White, Snake River Valley

Best RoséE / Double Gold Medal

Huston Vineyards - 2023 Rosé, Snake River Valley

Best Sweet Wine / Double Gold Medal

Koenig Vineyards - 2022 Riesling Ice wine, Snake River Valley

Best Sparkling Wine / Gold Medal

3100 Cellars - 2019 Whitewater Sparkling Wine, Snake River Valley

Best Merlot / Double Gold Medal

Vale Wine Co. - 2021 Merlot, Snake River Valley

Best Syrah / Double Gold Medal

Huston Vineyards - 2021 Syrah, Snake River Valley

Best Red Blend / Double Gold Medal

Veer Wine Project - 2022 Tressé Red Wine, Snake River Valley

Best Cabernet Sauvignon / Gold Medal

Rolling Hills Vineyard - 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon, Snake River Valley

Best Riesling / Gold Medal

Veer Wine Project - 2023 Reverie Riesling, Snake River Valley

Best Tempranillo / Gold Medal

Dunning Estates - 2022 Tempranillo, Snake River Valley

Best Viognier / Gold Medal

Holeskinsky Winery and Vineyard - 2022 100% Viognier, Snake River Valley

Best Malbec / Gold Medal 

Indian Creek Winery - 2022 For The Mountains Benefit Series Malbec, Snake River Valley

Best Cabernet Franc / Gold Medal 

Snake River Winery - 2022 Estate Cabernet Franc, Snake River Valley

Double Gold Medal Winners

Clearwater Canyon Cellars - 2022 Verhey Vineyard Malbec, Washington

Famici Wine Co. - 2021 Malbec, Snake River Valley 

Hat Ranch Winery - 2021 Malbec, Snake River Valley 

Hat Ranch Winery - 2023 Pinot Grigio, Snake River Valley

Snake River Winery - 2018 Estate Zweigelt, Snake River Valley

Gold Medal Winners

Cinder Wines - 2023 Emerald Slope Vineyard Verdejo, Snake River Valley 

Dude Dewalt Cellars - 2023 Chardonnay, Snake River Valley 

Famici Wine Co. - 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon, Snake River Valley 

Famici Wine Co. - 2023 Vermentino, Snake River Valley

Hat Ranch Winery - 2023 Grüner Veltliner, Snake River Valley 

Hat Ranch Winery - 2021 Tempranillo, Snake River Valley 

Indian Creek Winery - 2023 Dry Rosé, Snake River Valley 

Koenig Vineyards - 2021 Sangiovese, Snake River Valley 

Koenig Vineyards - 2020 Snake River Valley Cuvée Red Wine, Snake River Valley

Koenig Vineyards - 2023 Dry Rosé, Snake River Valley 

Lindsay Creek Vineyards - 2017 Malbec, Washington 

Lindsay Creek Vineyards - 2022 Riesling, Washington

Rolling Hills Vineyard - 2021 Zinfandel, Horse Heaven Hills 

Sawtooth Winery - 2022 Classic Fly Series Chardonnay, Snake River Valley

Sawtooth Winery - 2021 Classic Fly Series Malbec, Snake River Valley 

Two Bad Labs Vineyard - 2022 Fumé Blanc, Lewis Clark Valley 

Vale Wine Co. - 2023 Sweet Moscato, Snake River Valley 

Veer Wine Project - 2023 Project: Carbonic Syrah, Snake River Valley

Best Cider

Highpoint Cider - Transplant New England-Style Cider

Cider Double Gold Medal

Highpoint Cider - Prairie Punch 

Cider Gold Medal

High Country Cider - Pineapple- Caramel Cider

The 15th annual Idaho Wine & Cider Competition showcased the best of Idaho’s wine and cider scene, celebrating the dedication and craftsmanship of local producers. We extend heartfelt congratulations to all the winners and encourage enthusiasts to explore these award-winning beverages and savor the excellence that Idaho continues to offer. Cheers to another year of exceptional wine and cider and new favorites!

Thank you to our amazing sponsors of the 15th annual Idaho Wine & Cider Competition: 

Core Enology Analytical Services, The Hartwell Corporation, Associated Insurance Services, Koenig Vineyards, Visit Boise and Anthony’s Restaurants.