France. Italy. California. For most people these are the first places that come to mind when they think about wine.
But what about Idaho?
If you just asked yourself, "Do they make wine out of potatoes?" please know you're not original.
And it's cool. We’ve heard it before. But these days we're hearing it a lot less because the industry is booming.
You know what they say… numbers don’t lie. So here are a few to show just how big Wine has become in the Potato State.
The juice is worth the squeeze
Idaho consists of three wine regions—the Eagle Foothills and Snake River Valley in the south, and Lewis-Clark Valley in the north. More than 30 different varietals (that's the fancy word for types of grape) grow there. In 2018, 2,800 tons of grapes were harvested, equaling more than 131,000 gallons of Idaho wine. That’s roughly 160,000 cases in total.
Wine all week
In the last decade, the number of wineries has doubled. Today, there are 60 wineries operating in Idaho. (Enough to visit one-a-week for a year without repeating. Challenge accepted.) Almost as wide in range as the number of wineries are the elevations of our vineyards, which go from 600 to 3,000 feet. All together, they cover more than 1,300 acres of land.
Money in the bank
Each year, more than 175,000 visitors come to explore our wineries. In 2017, the combined economic impact to the area was nearly $210 million. That’s a whole lot of green for crushed grapes.
While our popularity is relatively new, people have been perfecting wine here for more than 100 years. In fact, all the way back in 1856 the Idaho wine industry was booming until prohibition hit and dried up the supply (if not the demand).
Since then, love for Idaho wines has traveled through the grapevine. Of course, numbers only tell half the story. Real proof is in the flavor. From classic varieties (including Syrah, Merlot, Riesling and Chardonnay) to more adventurous wines (such as Tempranillo and Malbec) we’re ready to make you a believer.
Ready for a sip? Plan your trip to Idaho wine country with our tour brochure.