Here's the lowdown on Idaho's wine scene

From the Idaho Statesman:

Exciting things are happening in Idaho wine. The establishment of Idaho’s first American Viticultural Area in 2007 was a big step in elevating the wines of Idaho onto the national and international stage.

An AVA is a defined area for wine (grape) growing, such as the Napa Valley or Walla Walla. The Snake River Valley has been recognized as having unique characteristics and has been legally defined. The AVA is large, more than 5 million acres, stretching from Ontario, OR, nearly to Twin Falls. That makes it the fifth largest AVA in the country.

By comparison, Washington’s Columbia Valley is more than 11 million acres, Oregon’s Willamette Valley is just more than 3 million, and the Napa Valley is 225,000.

An AVA is defined by specific climactic and geographic characteristics. The Snake River Valley AVA is the area that was covered by a prehistoric lake that once existed over much of southern Idaho. That lake was responsible for forming the subsoil upon which we live. The consistency of elevation, soil, and climate means that, in theory, wines grown in the Snake River Valley will have a unique character.

Several winemakers are now lobbying for the creation of sub-AVAs which will further designate the difference between the more volcanic soil surrounding Craters of the Moon and the more sandy soil of Canyon County.

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