The Next Great Wine State: Idaho?
Move over, potatoes, there's a new crop in town. The state that's known for its spuds has now decided to up its wine game by providing a $72,000 grant to growers and vintners in the state's wine industry, to be used for educational opportunities to improve their winemaking skills.
Didn't know Idaho had a wine industry in the first place? That's because there were only about a dozen wineries in all of Idaho just a few years ago, but that number has since increased to 52, according to this Capital Press story. Idahoan winegrowers feel that the state's high elevation (up to 3,000 feet), volcanic-ash soil and desert climate (warm days and cool evenings) are ideal for producing grapes with concentrated flavors and naturally high acidity.
So, who knows? Maybe Idaho will be the next great wine state. They've already designated some catchy AVAs, like the Snake River Valley, Eagle Foothills and, my personal favorite, Lewis-Clark Valley. And they certainly know how to turn a humble crop into a headliner for the state. Now that the farmers have decided to turn their attention to grapes, maybe they'll do the same for wine.