Sip Your Way Through Idaho Wine and Cider Month in Garden City
For wine and cider lovers, Christmas comes in June. That’s when Idaho Wine and Cider Month, a statewide extravaganza of events and tastings, gifts oenophiles an excuse to truly savor the best of Idaho’s thriving wine industry.
Garden City — home to the renowned Craft Beverage Corridor — is home to seven groundbreaking urban wineries. In the Treasure Valley, these businesses have cult followings that wait expectantly for the next rosé or cab franc drop. Beyond Idaho’s borders, they’re racking up awards and long-overdue recognition.
One of the best ways to experience the variety Garden City has to offer is by signing up for the Savor Idaho Passport through the Idaho Wine Commission. Typically, Savor Idaho is an in-person tasting event that features wineries from all over the state. This year, there’s a tweak because of COVID-19: Instead of attending a one-time gathering, you can obtain a free Savor Idaho Passport from any participating winery or the Idaho Wine Commission and use it all month long. You’ll get access to Passport-only specials and can send your filled Passport in to the Idaho Wine Commission for a shot at great prizes.
Here’s how you can sip your way through June in Garden City.
Cinder Wines, owned by husband-wife duo Melanie Krause and Joe Schnerr, was in the first wave of wineries to set up shop in Garden City back in 2008.
Since then, they have been lauded as one of the West’s best urban wineries by Sunset Magazine and wound up on restaurant menus throughout Idaho and beyond. For many local wine lovers, summer just wouldn’t be summer without Cinder’s Dry Viognier or Dry Rosé. Stop by Cinder’s first-come, first-served patio or book a 90-minute tasting for up to six people (charcuterie, cheese and chocolate — or all three — can be added for an extra fee).
Winemaker Leslie Preston keeps pushing the envelope for Idaho wines: When she introduced Rizza, a sparkling brut Riesling, her first run sold out so quickly that she had to increase production. Using your Savor Idaho Passport, you can get your hands on a 2018 bottle for $30! Here’s what’s going on at Coiled in June.
All Month Long
Use your Savor Idaho Passport to purchase a 2018 Rizza for $30, a 2018 Translations Rosé for $20, or a 2018 Diamondback, SRV (Petit Verdot, Petit Syrah, Syrah) for $34. In addition, Passport holders can take 10 percent off a three-pack and Coiled Club members can take an additional 5 percent off in addition to their regular discount.
Get creative during Coiled’s Intro to Modern Calligraphy – Brush Lettering from 6:15-8:30 p.m. at the winery’s Garden City Production/Tasting Room.
Sign up for more hands-on craftiness during a Spoon Carving Workshop at Coiled’s Downtown Wine Bar from noon-3 p.m.
The newest additions to Coiled’s lineup are available to non-Coiled Club members by the glass or flight. Club members may purchase entire bottles.
2019 Sidewinder ($30): A classic Idaho Syrah, with loads of smoky meat aromas and dark cherry, cranberry, and pomegranate fruit.
2019 Black Mamba ($34): Pure Petit Verdot. As Preston says in her tasting notes, “This captivating, inky, and elusive wine had to have a name to match its personality. As the winemaker, I have been as mystified by the following for this wine as I am by the grape itself.”
2019 Merlot ($34): Preston says, “Coiled has never been afraid to champion a great grape and I am thrilled to now have a contract for this Merlot.”
Meriwether is owned and operated by the Leadbetter family, four self-described firefighters, nomads and adventurers.
Gig, Ann, Kate, and Molly make their cider with Northwest apples and other pure fruit juices. You might find hops, blackberries, or ginger in your cider, but no artificial flavors or essences, and no added sugars. It’s fizzy, refreshing, and delicious. Meriwether is known for its partnerships benefiting the community, such as Jupiter’s Cider, a recent collaboration with the Idaho Black History Museum.
Par Terre Winery
Travis and Mallory Walker met while dancing in a ballet company — hence the name of the winery — and their wines are just as elegant as a pas de deux.
In June, be among the first to taste their 2019 En L’air Red Blend, a mix of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Merlot that contains a balance of acid and lush fruit. A portion of the proceeds will go to performing arts education organizations in the community. Also, you’ll now have extra time to spend at Par Terre’s tasting room: The winery has extended its hours until 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays for the summer.
Potter Wines are made for fun-loving, adventurous folk — and the owners bill their Garden City space as “Idaho’s most unique winery and tasting room.”
Try the Jalapeno Wine or Chipotle Jalapeno Wine (you read that correctly!), their Minx Cabernet, or their Liquid Lunch Chardonnay. Their GC location is available for drop-in wine tastings, or you can rent out the entire space for a girl’s night out or a birthday party.
Split Rail has made a name for itself with its clever takes on classic wines, like its 2019 Daft Punk Brut Rosé, a dry Sangiovese rosé injected with bubbles.
These wines are made to be enjoyed with friends — Split Rail offers several in cans, perfect for your next backpacking trip — and you can stock up for your summer festivities during June using your Savor Idaho Passport. Split Rail is planning plenty of events in June, so check the winery’s calendar for more info, including start times and tickets.
Winemaker Virtual Tasting with Albertsons.
Telaya Wine Company
Back in the mid-2000s, Telaya owners Earl and Carrie Sullivan walked the beach in Cabo San Lucas and hatched a plan for an ambitious side hustle: a winery. They hoped their new venture, Telaya Wine Co., would eventually blossom into a full-time family business that would allow them to spend time with their kids.
They quickly outgrew their first space and built a gorgeous facility along the Boise River, building a rep among wine lovers for its airy tasting room and spacious patio. But the space is only part of the equation. Telaya’s wines, like its signature Turas, Malbecs, Chardonnays, and Cabernet Sauvignons, repeatedly garner honors.
Telaya hosts frequent events, and June will be no exception.
Telaya and Boise Bite and partnering to create a pop-up restaurant at the winery. Each five-course dinner will be tailored to pair with Telaya wines and will feature a theme that will be announced as the date draws near. There will be only one seating at 7 p.m., so be sure to secure your spot.
June 9th, 16th and 23rd
The winery’s popular Telaya Bites series features simple, delicious culinary experiences created by local chefs. Guests have the opportunity to enjoy Telaya’s beautiful tasting room after hours while winemaker Earl Sullivan and the featured local chef share their knowledge of food and wine pairing. This informal and intimate experience includes five two-ounce pours of wine paired with five bite-size food pairings.
June 21 and 28
Each year, Telaya partners with Chandler’s for a special Idaho Wine Month dinner. This year’s event will be hosted at the restaurant and will include five courses featuring Idaho producers and ingredients, each paired with a Telaya wine. Check Telaya’s events page for more info as the date draws near.