In this episode, Matt speaks with Dr. Ron Bitner, the co-owner of Bitner Vineyards, about producing wine in Idaho. You’ll hear about how Idaho has developed into “wine country” over the past few decades. It is a great story of agriculture success, dating back to the late 1970s.
Bitner purchased property in Sunny Slope because of a gorgeous view and it was an area that his cousins were from so he was familiar with the area. In 1981 he was approached with the opportunity to grow wine grapes for another winery. The slope his property was on was a prime location for wine grapes.
Bitner was involved in the process of getting the Sunny Slope area designated as an American Viticultural Area in 2007. The process took several years. Viticultural areas only exist when evidence can be presented that your wine tastes different because of the region it’s grown in. The area produced different tasting grapes because of the sediment nature of the region and because of the recent volcanic activity which affects the soil.
Currently in Idaho can produce about 50 different varieties of wine grapes. There are a large variety of white and red wine grapes. The wide variety of grapes that can be grown in Idaho is thanks to a great amount of research over the years. Check out the podcast below for even more great info about Idaho Wine.