All About Idaho Sparkling Wines

Get ready to elevate your celebrations with the effortless charm of Idaho sparkling wines. In this blog, we uncork the secrets behind the art of sparkling wine production, unveiling the perfect harmony of tradition and innovation. We'll also chat about the different types of sparkling wine and what sets it apart from champagne. 

Idaho's scenic vineyards, blessed with a diverse terroir, set the stage for crafting exceptional sparkling wines that stand out in every toast. Join us on a journey through bubbles and fizz, and discover why Idaho sparkling wine is the star of every festive moment.

Caitlin Holesinsky and Natalie Vander’pol from Holesinsky winery holding glasses of sparkling wine

What is Sparkling Wine?

Sparkling wine, characterized by its delightful carbonation, undergoes a secondary fermentation process that imparts those lively bubbles. Sparkling wine is the perfect beverage for every celebration including holidays, birthdays, anniversaries or a boozy brunch to kickoff the weekend. But the types and styles of sparkling wine can be confusing for just about anyone. Let's uncork the details.

men from Telaya winery cheersing glasses of Idaho sparkling wine

How is Sparkling Wine Made?

There are a few different ways sparkling wine is produced; the Traditional Method, the Charmat Method, and the Ancestral Method. 

The Traditional Method formed in the 17th century when the French began adding carbon dioxide to produce the bubbles in sparkling wine. The Traditional Method is when wine undergoes a second fermentation process in the bottle to produce carbon dioxide. The wine is first bottled, then additional yeast and sugar are added. After being incorporated, the yeast ferments the sugar into alcohol until it’s dry and generates CO2, resulting in bubbles within the bottle. 

The Charmat Method was developed in the late 19th century by an Italian winemaker. This method, also known as the tank method, is a less expensive method of producing sparkling wine, especially in bulk quantities. The difference in this method is the second fermentation takes place in a pressurized tank, rather than the bottle, resulting in larger, coarser bubbles.

The Ancestral Method, while less common, is the oldest method for producing sparkling wine. Dating back to 1531, this technique involves bottling the wine partway through its primary fermentation and sealing under a crown cap. This traps carbon dioxide gas in the bottle to create carbonation. Since the Ancestral Method does not go through a second fermentation process, it requires less human intervention than other sparkling wine methods. To identify a wine on the shelf made through the Ancestral Method, just look for their crown cap, which looks like the cap of a beer bottle!

Sparkling Wine vs Champagne

While champagne, prosecco and sparkling wine have many similarities, what separates them is how they’re made and where they’re made. For a beverage to be considered champagne, by French law, it has to be made in the champagne region of France. Champagne is produced using the traditional method or méthode Champenoise.

Woman from Sawtooth winery pouring sparkling wine

Prosecco on the other hand, is an italian-made sparkling wine and to be considered prosecco, by Italian law, it has to be produced in northeast Italy, traditionally the Veneto region. This wine typically uses the Charmat method to produce a clean, youthful wine. In the United States, everything that bubbles and sparkles is considered sparkling wine!

Is Sparkling Wine A More Healthy Wine?

When compared to a red or white wine, sparkling wines do tend to be the healthier choice. They contain less calories per serving and the carbonation allows you to fill up faster and consume less. Sparkling wines also contain lower alcohol by volume (ABV) than other wine varietals. 

The ancestral method in particular produces some of the ‘healthiest’ wines. These wines are not filtered and no sugar is added which is why this form of wine is considered more “natural” and earned its pét-nat name (short for the French ‘pétillant naturel' meaning ‘natural sparkling’). Since these wines do not go through a second fermentation process, they are also usually lower in alcohol content.

It is important to note that each type of sparkling wine contains differing levels of sugar. Bottles that are labeled “Brut” or “Extra Brut” use less sugar during production whereas bottles labeled “Demi Sec” or “Doux” contain higher levels of sugar. If you’re choosing a sparkling wine based on sweetness or sugar levels, use the labeling guide below to help you pick the perfect bottle.

Graphic of Sparkling Wines Labeling Terms

 What Makes Idaho Great For Sparkling Wine?

The U.S. is one of the most popular regions for producing sparkling wine. Due to the lack of strict production regulations, it allows for a wider range of flavors, styles, and textures. While Idaho produces popular American-made sparkling wines such as ‘blanc de blancs’ and ‘blanc de noirs,’ Idaho is also known for producing rare and unique sparkling wines that aren’t typically found in other wine regions. 

Idaho’s climate, geographical conditions, and soil content make it possible for vineyards in Idaho to grow a much wider diversity of wines with lots of character and nuance. Cooler, mountainous climates? We’ve got that. Rich, high-desert soil? Yep, we’ve got that too. Idaho winemakers are truly invested in the unique terroir and the resources Idaho has to offer. They have a deep understanding of the varieties that not only grow well here, but thrive. Check out our Idaho Wines FAQs to learn more about what makes Idaho a thriving wine region producing incomparable sparkling wines.

Idaho’s Sparkling Wine Varieties

Our amazing wineries produce elegant, flavorful sparkling wine varieties that can’t be compared. The best way to learn what you like is by allowing yourself to try something new each time you sip!

Bottle of Ste Chapelle’s Sparkling Wild Huckleberry

Detailed below are some of the most popular Idaho Sparkling Wines. But if you’re looking for something a little more fun and unique, we highly recommend the IdaPeach Sparkle from Holesinsky Vineyard and Winery and Open Air Sparkling Wild Huckleberry from Ste Chapelle!

Blanc De Blanc

When a bottle of wine is named “blanc de blanc,” it means it was made exclusively from Chardonnay. Chardonnay is a constant classic that’s grown in four out of the six wine regions in Idaho. Whether you prefer light and crisp or rich and buttery, a “blanc de blanc” style sparkling chardonnay is a must try in Idaho. Visit 3100 Cellars to try it out today!

Bottle of Blanc De Blanc from 3100 Cellars sitting on rocks next to flowers

Blanc De Noirs

When a bottle of wine is named “blanc de noir,” it means it was made exclusively from Pinot Noir. While Pinot Noir grapes can be a little trickier to grow, they’ve found a fitting home in the cooler pockets of Idaho, specifically in the South Central region. When introduced to bubbles, this elegant red wine bursts flavors of green apples, melons and light tropical notes. Head over to Telaya Wine Co. and try their Blanc de Noir today!

Bottle of Telaya’s Blanc De Noir with a glass of sparkling wine


A bottle named Pet-Nat means it was produced using the Ancestral Method. While this method isn’t as common as the others, our Idaho winemakers have utilized it to produce some amazing sparkling wine varieties. Split Rail winery has two unique Pét-Nat varieties including their 2022 White Noise Pét Nat, produced from riesling grapes, and their 2022 De Funk Rosé Pét Nat which is produced from Gamay grapes. Head to Split Rail Winery in the Boise And Garden City region to compare and contrast the unique flavors of Pét-Nat wines!

Bottle of De Funk Rosé Pét Nat Wine on table

Sparkling Gewürztraminer

With a wild name and a wildly delicious flavor, this wine is known for being super aromatic with flowery and spicy flavors. While Gewürztraminer isn’t a common variety made into sparkling wine, it is grown in a few places in Idaho and makes delicious bubbly. If you’re looking for something a little more unique to Idaho, visit 3100 Cellars in the Boise And Garden City region to try it out!

Bottle of Sparkling Gewürztraminer being poured into man’s mouth

Sparkling Cuveée

Cuveé is a term used to describe sparkling wines, specifically referring to the early stages of extracting juice from grapes. Idaho Sparkling Cuveé has tiny light bubbles that lead the way to lively bright citrus fruit, volcanic minerals and butterscotch notes. The dry finish of Cuveé will make you want to take another sip… and another. Visit Holesinsky Vineyard and Winery in the South Central region and try out their Buhljolais Sparkling Cuvée today! (No, that’s not a typo. Buhl is Holesinsky’s hometown.)

Bottle of Sparkling Cuveé on table next to plate of food

Sparkling RoséE

Sparkling Rosé can be made from various red grape varieties. In Idaho, some of the most common are Pinot Noir, Syrah and Grenache. Sparkling Rosé wines offer a wide range of flavors including red berry fruits such as strawberries, raspberries and cherries. 

This pink bubbly wine can be found at Proletariat Wine Company and Rolling HIlls Vineyard in Boise And Garden City region. Visit them today and add a little pink to your palate!

Bottle of Proletariat Wine Company’s Sparkling Rosé being poured into glasses

Sparkling Riesling

Riesling is very popular in Idaho because the grapes love the cooler climate. Riesling grapes produce crisp white wines with a nice balance of flavors and zingy acidity. Idaho Sparkling Riesling has notes of green apple and juicy pear with tight bubbles and a delicate finish. We recommend trying the 2021 Rizza from Coiled Wines! Or head over to Proletariat Wine Company and Split Rail Winery in the Boise And Garden City region to try a glass of sparkling riesling for yourself!

Bottle of Sparkling Riesling from Proletariat on table with fall leaves

Sparkling Brut

If you’re looking for a classic sparkling Brut, you’re in luck here in Idaho! Many of our wineries including Ste Chapelle and Sawtooth Winery in the Western Treasure Valley region serve this dry bubbly wine, perfect for any celebration. Idaho’s Sparkling Bruts contain wonderful aromas of green apples and citrus with mineral notes and bright crisp acidity.

Bottle of Sawtooth’s Sparkling Brut

Whether you're a fan of Blanc De Blanc's crisp elegance, the bold notes of Blanc De Noirs, or the aromatic adventure of Sparkling Gewürztraminer, Idaho wineries offer a spectrum of sparkling delights waiting to be explored. We invite you to experience the bubbly magic for yourself and visit our Idaho wineries to experience the best sparkling wines around! 

Idaho wineries serving sparkling wine are listed here:

Coiled Wines, 3100 Cellars, Holesinsky Vineyard and Winery, Proletariat Wine Company, Split Rail Winery, Rolling HIlls Vineyard, Telaya Wine Co., Snake River Winery, Sawtooth Winery and Ste Chapelle