Salutations Wine Lovers. Spring on the Sunny Slope has sprung, and what a beautiful day we had on Sunday. It was a nice surprise when I showed up with Charles and Tina at the home of Andrew and Nancy for a Surprise Sunday Birthday Wine Tour. She was skeptical when Andrew told her it was time to go. When she saw the sign on the side of the van, all suspicion was assuaged. Say that ten time fast.
Nancy, who was celebrating an anniversary of her 29th birthday was excited as we headed on down the road. Charles, who had contacted me through the website via a referral from a past tour taker, had set up the tour for Nancy’s husband Andrew. They did a great job keeping the surprise uncorked. Nancy was happy that it wasn’t just dinner and a movie. Score one for Andrew.
We started with a tasting at Idaho’s largest and oldest winery, Ste.Chapelle. The gang was just getting started in the world of wine, and since Nancy and Andrew only lived 15 minutes form the Sunny Slope they became wine club members on the spot. Many people don’t realize that the Sunny Slope, a.k.a. the Snake River Appellation, has many tasting opportunities. In the area, all within a 10 mile or so radius, are a total of 8 tasting rooms. There’s a couple more, but that’s the wine tour guy’s secret. See the links on the left for names, locations and hours of operation.
After a late lunch and a birthday candle blow-out at the Orchard House, which everyone raves about (I’m not kidding. I haven’t had a tour guest yet who hasn’t said great things about the food, and service there), we struck out to see what our new-found friends had a taste for. Our guests took up the tasting glasses again at Bitner Vineyards. Mary and Ron are always so friendly and have a passion for the craft. They asked lots of questions and got lots of answers as they went about their own wine education.
Class continued as we landed at Koenig Vineyards and Distillery. Wendy and Curtis were there serving up a great main line; always so friendly. I wouldn’t want to give it away, so I won’t go into detail. You’ll just have to take a tour and taste for yourself.
Sunday’s are a bit quieter on the Sunny Slope, so it wasn’t as crowded at any of the tasting rooms. We had the room to ourselves at Sawtooth Winery, which was great. Their lovely hostess showed my guests more of the operation. Barrels upon barrels lined the floor in a temperature controlled room, huge stainless steel containers lined the walls and palates of cases ready for shipping waited patiently for the fork lift. It was truly a sight to behold.
My new friends, Charles, Tina, the Birthday Girl – Nancy and hubby Andrew (from right to left) were a great bunch. We talked about geology, travel, kids, work and just enjoyed the day. I have to give a special shout-out to Arun and Mahdri who toured last summer for their anniversary. Thanks for passing me along to your friends. I’m so happy that you all enjoyed your day with me on an Idaho Winery Tour.