Amid the rugged and scenic landscape of the Lewis-Clark Valley, people can take advantage of year-round adventure: hiking, kayaking, fishing and hunting, and other daring pursuits. But recently, another activity has begun to define the region: sipping fine wines.
Idaho's newest AVA
The Lewis-Clark Valley American Viticulture Area (AVA) was approved in 2016. Immediately after that new vineyards began sprouting up and establish vineyards expanded. Now, there are more than 80 vineyard acres planted. Of these, Spiral Rock Vineyard, is carving a path with their variety of award-winning varietals.
Four friends. One dream.
This pioneering spirt of the Lewis-Clark Valley can be found inside the owners of Spiral Rock. Stu Davis, his wife Becky and "partners in wine," Shane and Lori Hyde, have a love of the outdoors, gardening and hard work. In 2014, with the help of family and friends, they decided to plant one acre (approximately 1,100 vines) of Riesling grapes. The following spring, a second acre went in the ground. The results were strong. So when the new Lewis-Clark Valley AVA was approved, they were ready to go all in.
First harvest & vintage
The team picked its first harvest in 2016. Still in the experimentation phase, they filled 500 bottles—most of which were given to friends, family, and anyone who would offer an honest opinion. With each positive review, their confidence grew. With the second vintage they produced 100 cases of their now signature Dry Riesling. Each year their eagerness to try new things grew. In 2018, they added more varietals to the mix: Cabernet Franc and Sangiovese.
Wine and something more
Today, producing award-winning wines isn't all that's happening at Spiral Rock. Amid the Riesling and Cabs, they also brew Kombucha, a refreshing drink made by fermenting sweet black tea. It is generally lightly effervescent, contains less than 0.5% alcohol and is naturally low calorie. Bonus: many claim kombucha is a sure-fire hangover cure.
Dream, desire and a bit of land
This long-uncharted territory has always called out to explorers. But Stu offers this key insight to his risk taking and success: "Even a novice winemaker, when using grapes grown in what may be one of the best wine grape regions in the country, can make decent wine." All you need is a dream, a desire and a bit of land. (And a little help from your friends doesn't hurt either.)