Wine Enthusiast's 40 Under 40: America's Tastemakers issue just hit stands with a familiar face inside: Cinder Wines' Melanie Krause. Krause was crowned an "emerging American wine region champion" for the work she's done helping put Idaho winemaking on the map.
"Idaho has all of the natural resources to have a world-class wine region and we're kind of the lesser-known of the Pacific Northwest states," said Krause. "But I think we have just as good of growing regions as Washington, Oregon and California. So that's what I preach every day when I'm talking to people and what I believe and why I moved here to start a winery."
The 40 Under 40 issue honors more than just winemakers; it celebrates "the innovators, gatekeepers and trendsetters who are changing what and how Americans imbibe." Some of this year's other recipients include Alan Kropf, director of education at Anchor Distilling in San Francisco, and James Beard Award winner Charles Joly, beverage director at the cocktail bar Aviary in Chicago.
"It's great for our brand and for Idaho wines so I'm excited about it," said Krause. "The award is for more than just winemakers; it's all the spirits industry. ... So to be singled out among that large of a field is an honor."
In other Cinder news, the Garden City winery is hosting a Mural Block Party Saturday, Sept. 27, from 1-6 p.m. to celebrate "the revitalization of Garden City embodied by a piece of public art." Local art collective Sector 17 is in the process of painting a mural that will adorn a wall shared by Cobby's Sandwich Shop, Martindale's Custom Truck and the forthcoming Haff Brewing.
"In the beginning we thought it was going to be one mural, which was over 100 yards long," said Cinder's Joe Schnerr. "But we came up with the idea of breaking it up into five or more individual murals done by different artists over the next five years."
Surel's Place helped to coordinate and raise funds for the mural, which will be based on the theme "garden of creativity."
"We're going to try to have a 'garden' theme with each one; the artists can take that any way they want to," said Schnerr. "In the future years, hopefully if this continues, we'll have a 'garden of memories' and a 'sound garden.'"
The Mural Block Party is an all-ages event that's free to attend with wine and beer available for purchase from Cinder, Coiled, Telaya, Payette, Crooked Fence and Split Rail. There will also be food from Cobby's Sandwich Shop and food trucks, along with an outdoor kid's art station, pottery demonstrations and music. Those who ride their bikes will get $1 off their first drink.
For more info, visit cinderwines.com/news-and-events.
In other grape-related news, Fraser Vineyard owner Bev Fraser has announced a new chapter for the award-winning winery.
"The last year has been a whirlwind of exciting new achievements for myself and Fraser Vineyard," Fraser wrote in an email newsletter. "Our wines received numerous medals ending 2013 with two platinum medals from [Wine Press Northwest's] 'Best of the Best' in the Northwest competition and a gold medal for our 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon. As owner and co-founder, I could not be prouder of Fraser Vineyard and want to thank all of those who helped me during the recent years. ... However, it is time for me to officially announce my retirement."
Fraser's Caldwell vineyard is renowned for its cabernet sauvignon, merlot and petit verdot vines. Kathryn House, owner of House of Wine, has signed a five-year lease for all of Fraser's grapes.
"I have a long-term lease on the property and I'm just providing some oversight on the property," explained House. "The actual vineyard management portion is through Mike Williams with Williamson Vineyards. So he's doing the day-to-day; I'm kind of an intermediary. Originally, I was picking up those grapes because I was going to use them for my brand, Sequence, but we put Sequence on hold for now."
House recently relocated to Caldwell from the 44th Street Wineries building in Garden City to launch a new winery called Sequence.
"We'd gone through the process of getting that started and we took a nice hard look at it again and decided, for right now, that that wasn't going to be the right decision for our family; we needed to kind of wait a little longer on that," said House.
In the meantime, House will continue operating House of Wine--which offers consulting, lab testing and wine education classes--and she'll sell Fraser's grapes to other local winemakers.
"Koenig Winery will likely be the winery that will end up with those grapes," said House.
But the Fraser brand isn't necessarily gone for good. In 2019, there's the possibility that Fraser's granddaughter, Sierra Laverty, might take over the winery and vineyards.
"As for now, the remaining cases of Fraser wines will continue to be sold at our tasting room and in stores," wrote Fraser. "Our final release party will be held this September featuring our 2012 Petit Verdot. Stay tuned for more details."
For more info, visit fraservineyard.com.
In other wine news, Ste. Chapelle Winery is hosting the Idaho Wine Run Sunday, Sept. 28. The run will include a marathon, a half marathon, a 10K, a 5K and a kid's race, along with wine sampling from a number of local wineries after the races. Wineries participating include Fujishin Cellars, HAT Ranch Winery and Vineyard, Indian Creek Winery, Koenig Distillery and Winery, Sawtooth Winery and Ste. Chapelle Winery.
For more info, visit idahowinerun.net.