Idaho Vineyards: Come for the Tasting, Stay for the Pairing

Food & Beverage, Magazine Features

Three Idaho vineyards combine their signature wines and menus for a taste that’s sure to please your next group

The Idaho wine industry is both fast growing and highly respected. An ideal growing season and cold winters are a consistent balance for the health of the vines at Idaho vineyards. No stranger to farming, some of the first grapes planted in the Pacific Northwest can be attributed to Lewiston during the 1860s.

In 2007, the Snake River Valley American Viticultural Area (AVA) in Southwest Idaho was federally approved as a grape-growing region. Eight years later, the Eagle Foothills AVA federally designated a grape growing sub-AVA of the Snake River Valley AVA.

The year 2016 saw the Lewis-Clark Valley AVA approved as a federally designated grape growing region. Thus, you can mix quality wines from these Idaho vineyards with hospitality and wonderful dining options for a truly memorable experience.

Parma Ridge Winery

A fabulous combination of superb wines and delicious cuisine are brought to your table. It’s certainly not a coincidence that trained chef and winemaker Storm Hodge is a hands-on owner of Parma Ridge Winery. As is partner Stephanie Hodge, whose original artwork complements the tasting room and is featured on the winery’s labels.

Parma Ridge - Idaho Vineyards

Parma Ridge wines include its own 2019 Avielle Rose of Merlot, 2019 Dry Gewurztraminer, 2016 The Last Zin and the 2016 Estate Grown Merlot. A wide variety of Snake River Valley and Yakima Valley grapes are also featured. In addition to entrée specials, Storm’s famous salmon and a 16 oz. ribeye steak, there are a half dozen sides and shareable items on the menu along with a scrumptious selection of flatbreads and wonderful burgers and sandwiches.

Sawtooth Winery

Home to the Sawtooth Estate and Skyline Vineyards, this Idaho winery is a significant grower of wine grapes in the Snake River Valley. Established in 1987, Charles Pintler saw potential in the sloping hills. Long stretches of daylight and crisp cool nights create prime growing conditions for wine grapes in this region. At 2,700 feet of elevation, the Sawtooth Vineyard’s micro-climates allow for a wide selection of varietals to grow. Their award-winning reds and Chardonnay originate from this vineyard. 

A leader in Idaho’s wine country, Sawtooth Winery has 60 fermentation tanks ranging in capacity from 1,000 to 27,000 gallons. Offering indoor and outdoor seating, the winery is both family and pet friendly. With a boutique-style tasting room, guests are encouraged to unwind, relax and soak in the spectacular views of the nearby Owyhee Mountains. Guests can take part in their fascinating educational experiences and discover the history of the wine country atmosphere. 

Colter’s Creek Winery

From 2007, Colter’s Creek winery has been crafting wines from Lewis-Clark Valley AVA grapes. The long list of acclaims shows their commitment to the integrity of their wines.

From the Idaho Wine, Cascade Wine and Riverside Wine Competitions to the Great NW Wine Invitational and Finger Lakes International Competition, Colter’s Creek Winery has shined. The award-winning wines pair nicely at their Main Street, Juliaetta restaurant and tasting room, located just 30 minutes from Lewiston or Moscow.

More than a dozen wines can be available for tasting and considered for pairing, including the award-winning 2016 Arrow Rim Red, 2017 Cabernet Franc and the Colter’s Creek Signature 2017 Koos.Koos.Kia Red.

For a summer day, the 2019 Signature Estate Riesling is perfect when chilled. The restaurant uses locally sourced ingredients whenever possible for both their signature offerings and seasonal menus. A half-dozen starters and salads lead to a very nice variety of small plates. The main course items make choosing difficult and it won’t get any easier when you get to the dessert offerings.

You’re probably wondering how we could get to this point in an Idaho story, especially one where local food sources were mentioned, and not say something about Idaho’s most famous farm product, the Idaho potato.

At the Colter’s Creek Winery tasting room and restaurant, don’t pass on the Yukon Wontons. A cheese-Yukon filling blends seamlessly with shredded cabbage and pistachio-pepper pesto in wonton shells. At Parma Ridge Winery, both Bistro Menu entrée specials feature garlic mashed potatoes.

Add great Idaho vineyards to your group travel itinerary. There are more than 50 wineries & cideries operating in Idaho. Developing your own Wine & Dine Trail begins by visiting the Idaho Wine Commission online at

For more Idaho travel information head to


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