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Plenty to Wine (and Beer) About

New wineries open in Boise plus new taphouse debuts in Eagle


Perched on the banks of the Boise River, Telaya Wine Co.'s new 11,000-square-foot tasting and production facility (240 E. 32nd St.) is gearing up for its grand opening weekend, which runs Thursday, Feb. 4 through Saturday, Feb. 6.

Located adjacent to The Riverside Hotel in Garden City, the building features corrugated metal, cedar trim and sliding barn doors, an aesthetic Telaya Head Winemaker Earl Sullivan calls, "Jackson Hole lite."

"The building is both tasting room and production, so we have a tasting room with a patio right out onto the Greenbelt," said Sullivan.

The riverside patio is partially covered and boasts a fire pit with phone charging outlets. A pocket door opens onto the patio from the tasting room and there's also a sand retention pond between the patio and the Greenbelt, a nod to Telaya's name—a blend of "Tetons" and "Playa."

The winemaking area occupies the back half of the building and features roll-up doors, cement floors and waterproof walls that can be hosed down after winemaking. Former 44th Street roomie Coiled Wines is joining Telaya in the new space and will share the tasting room and production facilities.

Telaya will give tours of its new space Thursday, Feb. 4 from 4-6 p.m.; and Friday, Feb. 5 and Saturday, Feb. 6 from 4-8 p.m. After that, they'll be open regular business hours: Monday-Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.

"For the grand opening celebration, we won't be doing any tastes, we'll just be doing glasses of wine and bottles if people want to buy them," said Sullivan. "We just want to make sure that we can get people through. We know it's going to be very popular, so we want to make sure we're not slowing people down too much."

In other Idaho wine news, Telaya Assistant Winemaker Hailey Minder is launching a new label called 3100 Cellars with her husband, Marshall, later this summer. The company will focus solely on bubbly wine.

"All the wine that we make will be sparkling wine," said Hailey. "It's all done in the traditional method, so it's all re-fermented in bottle like champagne is."

3100 Cellars will release a sparkling chardonnay and a sparkling rose to start, both made with grapes from Bitner Vineyards in Caldwell.

"Our rose is a nice, bright, fruity rose, but our chardonnay is much more yeasty—we age it in bottle with the yeast in there for 18 months," said Hailey. "So it gets those really yeasty qualities; you open it and smell it and it's like fresh-baked bread."

Hailey said Telaya is currently letting 3100 Cellars make, bottle and store their wines at their facility.

"We will not have a physical tasting room, at least for the first year," said Hailey. "We are planning on doing most of our sales through our website."

3100 Cellars isn't the only new wine label Telaya is helping to get off the ground. Scoria Vineyards also plans to release wines in May or June this year. Founded by Sydney Nederend, Scoria Vineyards is located on 250 acres in Sunnyslope near Hells Canyon Winery.

"The property has been in my family for quite some time and it wasn't being utilized," said Nederend. "It just happened to be a great spot for wine grapes."

In 2014, Nederend planted eight and a half acres of Malbec and Petit Verdot and this year she'll plant nine more acres of Cabernet and Merlot. Nederend is working with winemakers Earl Sullivan at Telaya and Greg Koenig at Koenig Distillery and Winery to produce her wines, which will include a Syrah, Petit Verdot and Malbec blend and a straight Mourvedre to start.

"This year, I'll be able to use the fruit from my vineyard," said Nederend. "I'm hoping that it's going to be a good year for harvest. We'll probably get, like, three tons an acre."

In brews news, Eagle Triple Tap (1580 E. State St., Ste. 106) recently opened in Eagle. The new taphouse currently features 30 beers, with the ability to expand to 40.

"We're pushing to get as many of the local breweries or Idaho breweries in here as we can," said co-owner Pat Weber. "So right now I've got McCall Brewing, I've got Slanted Rock, I've got Salmon River, Sockeye, Boise Brewing and then I've got one from Cloud 9 on tap."

Weber, who worked as a firefighter and police officer for 33 years, opened the business with his wife Angie and son Brandon. Eagle Triple Tap held its soft opening Dec. 18 and its grand opening Jan. 9. The bar plans to host various beer events, including an Oskar Blues tap takeover on Thursday, Jan. 27.

"We're also starting a growler club and we're trying to get people to join that," said Weber. "The idea behind that is if you join the club, you can come in every month and get a free fill on whatever we have on tap. I'm not going to limit you to a certain style."

The first 10 people to sign up for the growler club pay $100; memberships go up to $120 after that. Eagle Triple Tap is open Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday-Saturday 11 a.m.-midnight, and is closed Sunday.