Indian Creek Winery
The high dry desert and well-defined seasons of Idaho make for perfect grape-growing climate, good for the local wine industry, which in turn is good for our economy. The family owned Indian Creek Winery in Kuna has done an excellent job of using Idaho's natural resources to their advantage for more than three decades, developing award-winning wines in a wide variety, including their popular pinot noir, star garnet, mountain syringa, white riesling. Indian Creek also makes a sweet selection of small-lot wines, like their muscat canelli, viognier, merlot and Ruby Dahlia port, to name a few. Best of all, they have a tasting room, so oenophiles and amateurs alike can sip and savor before choosing a few bottles to take home. indiancreekwinery.com
2nd Place: Cinder Wines—With grapes sourced from the Snake River Valley, Cinder is another award-winning winery giving Idaho a good name. Cinder's flagship white, a saucy little viognier, would be enough to warrant repeat trips to the Garden City tasting room but it's also open daily and, of course, visitors can drink in the delights of the winery's tempranillos, reserve merlot, sauvignon blanc, syrah and more. Cinder: Once just isn't enough. cinderwines.com
3rd Place: Split Rail Winery—Seeing Boise Weekly readers vote for Split Rail Winery in the Best of Boise contest was proof positive our readers are exactly the kind of people we'd like to have a drink with. Like other local wineries, Split Rail sources its grapes from the Snake River viticultural area but the family owned winery not only bottles great wine, it kegs and cans it, too. What sets Split Rail apart (and is part of why we, and presumably BW readers, heart it) is the owners' sense of humor and utter lack of pomposity, two traits not historically associated with the age-old practice of winemaking. If you are unfamiliar with Split Rail (though you may have seen its La Boheme white and Le Commandante red canned wines on store shelves), let's play a drinking game: If you have a funny bone, visit the winery's website. If you don't utter so much as a chuckle, we'll take a swig of our favorite Split Rail vino. Deal? splitrailwines.com.