by Andrew Crisp
For all of the talk about microchips, potatoes and timber being Idaho's best-known exports, another industry is seeing significant growth—literally and figuratively: the wine industry, which is growing grapes and bottling world-class wine.
Scott Deseelhorst owns Snake River Winery with his wife Susan. They grow 14 different varietals on 86 acres of the Snake River Valley and ship 4,000-5,000 cases per year.
When Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter delivers his State of the State address on Monday the Deseelhorsts will be paying close attention to see how lawmakers will lead the Gem State beyond a recession and help small businesses, such as their winery, continue to grow.
"What I'm mostly interested in is what he's really doing and proposing to do for small- to medium-size businesses in Idaho," said Scott. "I'd like to see a little bit less regulation in licensing and permitting—in my business there's so many things involved. It seems like it's not an easy environment to not only start a business but to sustain a business. He wants to help ag specifically as far as business, but what about the little guys?"