Big news for Gem State travelers, winemakers: Idaho Wines fly giveaway on dual airlines

June 10, 2017 - garden totes

Nearly 6 years after Washington state blazed a trail, a Idaho Wines Fly Free module took off aboard Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air on Jun 1.

Idaho Wines Fly Free means an Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan member competence check one box of booze during no cost on his or her lapse moody from Boise or Lewiston. The graduation began on a initial day of Idaho Wine Month.

“It’s a vast understanding for a industry,” pronounced Melissa Sanborn, winemaker/co-owner of Colter’s Creek Winery Vineyards in Juliaetta circuitously Lewiston. “Wines Fly Free on Alaska has been going on in Washington and Oregon for a few years. This creates us feel like we’re personification with a vast boys a tiny bit.”

Indeed, a Idaho booze attention also has assimilated a ranks of California’s Sonoma County and Central Coast as Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan members have been drifting home with booze from Santa Rosa and San Luis Obispo County.

Diane Norton, manager of a Idaho Division of Tourism, said, “This is some-more validation that we are an rising booze region. It’s unequivocally sparkling for us.”

Greg Koenig of Koenig Vineyards in Caldwell said, “Especially with what happened this winter (with enlarged durations of impassioned cold deleterious many Idaho vines), this shows that a attention is alive and kicking. We’re vehement as an attention given this is another pointer that we’re mature adequate to be a partial of this.”

Williamson wines 2

During a initial 18 months in a program, a Oregon Wine Board reported approximately 5,000 cases of booze were checked for giveaway by Alaska Airlines opposite a state in Portland, Eugene, Medford and Bend.

The Washington booze industry’s relating Taste and Tote program, that Alaska launched in 2011, also involves waived tasting fees during a 200 participating wineries. During a initial 3 years, tourism and airfield officials in Walla Walla, Pasco and Yakima reported 50 to 100 cases per month were checked.

Membership in Alaska Airlines’ Mileage Plan is free. Customers can join during, and a conduit urges members to make certain their mileage devise series is enclosed in a reservation.

“I consider it will unequivocally advantage people who are entrance to Idaho to revisit family given they can pierce behind wines they have tried,” pronounced Moya Dolsby, executive executive of a Idaho Wine Commission. “I consider during a holidays we’ll see a outrageous boost given booze furloughed on Thanksgiving Weekend has turn unequivocally popular.”

Norton pronounced it was critical to Alaska Airlines that Lewiston’s airfield be concerned in a program. The carrier, ranked No. 1 in a U.S. by The Wall Street Journal for a fourth year in a row, records in a promotional element that Idaho facilities 3 American Viticultural Areas.

“What unequivocally helped was carrying not usually a Snake River Valley AVA, though afterwards a Eagle Foothills and shortly after a Lewis-Clark Valley AVAs established,” Norton explained. “That proceed we could open this adult to partners opposite a state.”

For years, Idaho Wine Commission members have been seeking Dolsby what it takes to get concerned in a program. While a module is nominal for Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan members, it’s not a giveaway float for a booze industry. In Oregon, it’s been upheld by Travel Oregon and a Oregon Wine Board. In Washington, it is Wine Country Washington, a corner bid of Visit Tri-Cities, Yakima Valley Tourism and Visit Walla Walla.

Dolsby pronounced Visit Idaho’s high-profile graduation debate to foster tourism via a Gem State was a pivotal in removing Alaska Airlines to settle a Idaho Wines Fly Free program. Neither Dolsby nor Norton would yield dollar figures, other than describing it as some-more than $100,000.

“And it’s not usually with a ads in Alaska Airlines and Horizon,” Dolsby said. “They wish to see how we use Idaho Wines Fly Free in graduation in other magazines such as Sunset and on Facebook.”

Other financial partners concerned in a debate embody a Lewis-Clark Valley Wine Alliance, Visit Lewis-Clark Valley, a Southwest Idaho Tourism Association and a Boise Convention Visitors Bureau.

“Once again, it is about carrying good relationships,” Dolsby said. “The Idaho Wine Commission has a good partnership with a Idaho Division of Tourism. We are means to pierce forward and do good things together.”

Summertime is a rise time for booze furloughed in Idaho, though it can be problematic. No one wants to leave their box or dual of newly purchased booze to prepare inside a prohibited car.

“Shipping booze around a nation is mostly severe due to state regulations and continue extremes,” points out Coco Umiker of Clearwater Canyon Cellars in Lewiston. “The Wines Fly Free module will concede us to enlarge a direct-to-consumer sales to booze drinkers roving by a Lewis-Clark Valley from states we are not now accessible to boat to — and during impassioned prohibited or cold durations of a year.”

A permit to boat can cost $600 per state, that competence not be possibly for a winery if there’s usually one booze bar member vital in that state.

koenig mug

“People roving from out of a state don’t wish to buy booze and have to understanding with a wrapping and a shipping,” Koenig said. “If they can get it home though profitable an arm and leg, that’s a win for us, generally given many of a wineries don’t boat in a summer when it’s hot.”

Alaska Airlines discipline outline that booze contingency be in a protecting shipping container, and it should lift a “FRAGILE” sticker. The Transportation Security Administration wants containers unblocked to concede for inspection. As a outcome of a Idaho Wines Fly Free promotion, wineries devise to have some-more box shipping boxes on palm for customers.

“If they buy a case, afterwards we put it in a shipper box for them, that is usually a lot some-more secure,” Sanborn said. “Those cost about $6. When it’s hot, we’ll have them use a Styrofoam boxes.”

If a winery does not have one of those boxes available, Alaska Airlines suggests interlude by FedEx, Staples, U-Haul, or UPS for boxes.

As partial of Idaho Wine Month, Williamson Vineyards will theatre a Jun 16 tasting during a Boise Airport, that has embraced Idaho wines for several years. The Greenbelt Magazine Shop sells bottles from about a dozen Snake River Valley wineries to fliers as carry-on items.

“I’ve been astounded by usually how many booze we’ve sole over a years behind confidence to people who usually put a bottle or dual in their handbag,” Koenig said. “Every year, we do a integrate of tastings with them, and a vintages are current, so they are relocating adequate product.”

Sanborn, a governor-appointed commissioner on a Idaho Wine Commission, would like to see these fliers make a long-term investment in a Idaho booze industry.

“It’s not fun schlepping wine, so we’re happy to offer them that giveaway shipping box as a perk,” Sanborn said. “We usually wish they pierce it behind given we’ll be happy to fill it adult for them!”

In a meantime, design to see a Idaho Wines Fly Free trademark layered on tip of a flourishing series of advertisements in magazines and websites starting this summer. Time will tell usually how prolonged a graduation stays in a atmosphere on Alaska and Horizon for Idaho wines.

“We didn’t unequivocally plead that, though we trust we will be means to continue a attribute with Alaska usually as other Fly Free programs have,” Norton said.

Some vineyards shun horrible winter damage

Many vineyards in a Snake River Valley suffered devastation, generally a industry’s breadbasket that is Skyline, though there are enlivening signs that a 2017 selected won’t be utterly as meager. Greg Koenig pronounced he expects a stand of 80 percent from Fraser Vineyard, one of a highest-elevation plantings in a Pacific Northwest. The Chardonnay and Syrah during circuitously Bitner Vineyards also came by a winter OK.

And a immature Scoria Vineyards plan of Sydney Nederend and her father, Joe Weitz, fared improved than most. At one point, Nederend feared her vines would need to be cut down to a belligerent and re-trellised this open — definition no stand in 2017 though a lapse for 2018 and beyond.


“That’s a best vineyard site in a state,” Koenig said. “They took a wait-and-see proceed before slicing all down to a ground, and it paid off. I’m vehement for them.”

Petit Verdot, a cherished Bordeaux accumulation in a Pacific Northwest, seems to be abounding during Scoria.

“The Petit Verdot looks awesome,” Nederend said. “We usually suffered about 2 percent detriment in that, and while a repairs is about 40 percent in a Malbec, we have tons of tiny clusters and we’re going to be removing some flattering fruit. We usually cut out what was passed in a Malbec, and we’ll be behind to 100 percent subsequent year.”

Avoiding large-scale extinction has emboldened Nederend. She skeleton to plant 19 acres of vines subsequent spring, doubling a distance of Scoria, that facilities volcanic soils and breathtaking views.

“Our Mourvèdre is so popular, and Syrah is such a illusory bottom for a blend, so I’m looking for certain during some-more Mourvèdre and Syrah, though everybody keeps bugging me to grow Tempranillo so I’m meditative about it,” Nederend pronounced with a chuckle.

Koenig creates some of a booze for Scoria, named Wine Press Northwest magazine’s 2017 Idaho Winery to Watch. He pronounced while a Weitz family is new to a booze industry, their decades of tillage imagination served them good final fall.

“They cut a H2O off to a vines flattering early, that improved prepared them for a dormancy cycle,” Koenig said. “If a plant gets too many H2O late in a season, afterwards a vines don’t dry out enough.”

Idaho Wine Commission scores with Savor Idaho

The signature eventuality of Idaho Wine Month is Savor Idaho, and a ninth annual wine-and-food festival during a Idaho Botanical Garden set for Jun 11 sole all 900 tickets 7 weeks in advance.

“We kick a record by a month,” Dolsby said. “The garden is vast and we could expand, though it would take divided from a event. The lines would be even longer, and we hatred prolonged lines.”

Those who designed in allege and bought tickets will be greeted by 29 wineries and dual cider producers. Yes, cideries can turn members of a Idaho Wine Commission.

This year outlines a second annual Savor Idaho North, and tickets went on sale Jun 1 for a Aug. 10 nightfall journey on Lake Coeur d’Alene. Cost is $50, that facilities hors d’oeuvres by Beverly’s, tastings from as many as 10 wineries, and Boise singing guitarist Douglas Cameron. It’s a judgment Dolsby and Sara Dirks, a commission’s selling and extend manager, had talked about for 7 years. The Panhandle is a longtime home to both Pend d’Oreille Winery and Coeur d’Alene Cellars, and a new Anthony’s Restaurant plcae in a Lake City has been gobsmacked by a lust for Idaho wines.

Koenigs showcase their wines in Copenhagen

Koenig, who suffered poignant repairs to his possess vineyards, recently purchased 4 acres of land circuitously his new tasting room.

Next spring, he skeleton to enhance his vineyards. This spring, however, he and his wife, Kristen, supposed an invitation from his Denmark importer to revisit Copenhagen.

“It was a possibility to flow Idaho wine, and they like American wines in general,” Koenig said. “They are fervent to try new regions, distinct China, that is stranded on Bordeaux and famous brands.”

What many astounded Koenig was to learn that a Danes are captivated to dry rosés and comparison whites given they span deliciously with a fish dishes that browbeat menus.

“I was repelled to see they were pouring comparison vintages — my 2010 Chardonnay, 2011 Viognier, 2012 Rosé, ’08 Cab and ’09 Syrah — though a importer told me that he buys booze and places it in his room for during slightest 3 years. The 2010 Chardonnay was so good and formidable and layered. That was fun.”

Grant module that helps foster Idaho wines during risk

A sovereign bill offer from a Trump administration would discharge appropriation for a U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Block Grant program, according to WineAmerica, a national advocacy group.

Dolsby pronounced Idaho’s rising booze attention advantages almost from those grants, that comment for 20 percent of a commission’s budget.

“That’s a flattering vast commission for a tiny organization,” Dolsby said. “We rest heavily on a USDA to account a expansion of a Idaho booze industry. If a appropriation goes away, we will really have to restructure with staff and redo all of a programs.”

The Idaho Wine Commission uses those grants not usually for selling and promotional efforts, though also for education.

“We sent 10 wineries or growers down to University of California-Davis for stability education,” she said. “We hired a (California) vineyard consultant who is tasked with assisting to urge a peculiarity of Idaho wine. We brought in several speakers for a annual assembly we would have differently not been means to afford. We have used a supports for a Wine Quality Initiative with (Master of Wine) Bob Betz and for an mercantile impact investigate in 2013.”

Idaho wines in a spotlight during a James Beard House

Mai Thai and Telaya Wine Co., have staged a series of winemaker dinners in Boise, so Garden City winemaker Earl Sullivan didn’t wish to skip executive cook Justin Scheihing’s opening Apr 13 during a iconic James Beard House in New York City.

It was a initial time given 2005 for an Idaho grill to be invited to a iconic Greenwich Village home of Beard, a ancestral culinary figure from Portland who died in 1985 during age 81.

Scheihing interconnected a Telaya 2015 Chardonnay with his Thailand-inspired Fried Catfish with Green Mango Salad.

“It was really a prominence to be means to flow a booze in such a storied location,” Sullivan said. “I consider we done my relatives unapproachable that night.”


Coiled Wines’ 2015 Rizza Sparkling Riesling was served with hors d’oeuvres. For dessert, Koenig Vineyards 2014 Botrytis Single Berry Select Late Harvest Riesling assimilated Woon Gati Mamung, aka Coconut Jelly with Fresh Fruit.

“The James Beard cooking was fantastic,” Sullivan said. “The people during a James Beard House couldn’t have been nicer and some-more gracious.”

Not prolonged after Beard’s death, chefs around a U.S. staged dinners to lift supports and assistance secure a building that has turn a Mecca for American cuisine.

“As a chef-celebrated venue, they were splendidly easy to a non-chef and were unequivocally easy to work with,” Sullivan said. “The business attending a cooking were unequivocally extraordinary about Idaho wines and unequivocally nominal of both a food and a wine.”

Ten days later, and a 15-minute cab float to a south, was a Manhattan screening for a PBS-TV documentary “James Beard: America’s First Foodie.”

The fascinating American Masters part expires for online observation at on Jun 19. See it during

Eric Degerman runs Great Northwest Wine, a news and information website. Learn some-more about booze and see some-more stories during

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