I’m sipping a glass of blood-red booze with winemakers Art and Doug at Lindsay Creek Vineyards in Lewiston, Idaho.
Since 2007, the brothers have been producing premium wines. Today, we’re tasting their commitment to high-quality vino in the liquid form of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Sangiovese and Tempranillo. “It’s as much art, as it is chemistry,” I’m told when I ask how they make these grapes taste so damn good.
Wine isn’t the only tasty treat on the menu: an appetizing spread of lip-smacking cheeses and perfectly seasoned chicken tempt my quick fingers as the chef, Jill from Jilly Bean Catering, fills chocolate-covered strawberries with sweet liqueur. As the sun sets, we step outside to take in the rolling landscape. There is a beautifully staged area for weddings, and in the back of the winery, we find large piles of oak barrels and a comfortable upstairs room that can be utilized as a dressing room for brides and grooms.
The history of viticulture in Lewiston
To be completely honest, I never would have thought I’d find this here.
Which is silly, really, when you look at Lewiston’s long history with wine. Grapes were first planted here back in 1872, making the Lewis Clark Valley one of the first grape regions in Western America. In 1910, Lewiston voted to ban alcohol—so the grapes were dug up and the beautiful vineyards were transformed into fruit orchards. Most of the wine was turned into vinegar, and the thriving wine region fell silent.
An emerging destination for winos
Now, the grapes are making a come-back. In 2016, the Lewis-Clark Valley became the newest American Viticultural Area (AVA) in Idaho and Washington.
It’s a lot more than I expected from the little town of Lewiston.
While Lindsay Creek Vineyards’ Tasting Room is a perfect spot to sip a Cab or pop a bottle of bubbly, it’s not the only place Lewis-Clark Valley AVA wines can be enjoyed.
Remember Jill, from Jilly Bean Catering? She pairs her delicious culinary skills with Lindsay Creek Vineyard’s award-winning wines on wine tasting dinner cruises along Hells Canyon, the deepest river gorge in North America.
As we drink our glasses dry and prepare to head home for the night, I grab one more bottle of red to go. Because, really, there’s no such thing as too much of a good thing, and this wine is proof.
When you go:
Sip the Lewis-Clark Valley Wine Trail
Hit all seven wineries or create your own, personalized, self-guided wine tour:
Lindsay Creek Vineyards
Location: 3107 Powers Ave, Lewiston ID 83501
Website: Lindsay Creek Vineyards
Location: 906 Port Dr, Clarkston, WA 99403
Website: Basalt Cellars
Clearwater Canyon Cellars
Location: 3143 10th St, Lewiston, ID 83501
Website: Clearwater Canyon Cellars
Colter’s Creek Winery
Location: 308 Main St, Juliaetta, ID 83535
Website: Colter’s Creek Winery
Tammany View Winery
Location: 30531 Thiessen Road Lewiston, ID 83501
Website: Tammany View Winery
Location: 4020 Hatwai Rd, Lewiston, ID 83501
Website: Vine 46
Location: 25438 Northridge Dr Lewiston, ID 83501
Website: Woodie Cellars
Have you sampled the
Lewis-Clark Valley Wine Trail?
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