Eleven years ago, the state of Idaho declared June as Idaho Wine and Cider Month to commemorate its growing wine industry and to encourage support of local grape growers and winemakers. Of course events this year are a little different considering COVID-19! However, June is still the perfect opportunity to call attention to this up-coming region– one where wine has been grown for longer than you might think– people just don’t know that where you can grow potatoes, the temperatures are great for growing wine grapes!
One of the fastest-growing wine regions in the country, Idaho is home to more than 60 wineries and vineyards with 1,300 acres of wine grapes.
A few years ago, I received a case of wine samples from Idaho Wine Commission. It’s been a great experience working our way through the case plus both Sue and I have done separate trips to the region, tasted the wines there, and left impressive with the quality, the character, and the affordability.
Now we’re down to the last bottle, and appropriately, it’s a late harvest riesling, a dessert wine, typically the final wine of the evening.
And it’s a winery that Sue and John visited– and where they bought wine which we wrote about here.
You can visit now too: find them in the heart of the Sunnyslope Wine District, right on Highway 55 only 35 minutes from downtown Boise. Due to the changes from the Covid-19 restrictions, customers make a reservation for six or less people (per state mandate) by going to the Reservations Page. Although it asks for a credit card to make the reservation, there is no cost for a tasting at this time.
According to the Idaho Wine Commission, “Fujishin Family Cellars is a small boutique production winery producing approximately 1000 cases of red and white wines from the Snake River Valley AVA. Started by Winemaker Martin Fujishin it is currently operated by Martin Fujishin and Teresa Moye.” With a background in vineyard management and work as a winemaker with other wineries, Martin keeps busy PLUS he teaches for the Treasure Valley Community College Viticulture Program while Teresa divides her time between the winery and working at the Orchard House Restaurant in the Sunnyslope District.
Fujishin Family Cellars produces wines that reflects varietal and regional character by sourcing all of their grapes from the Snake River Valley AVA and accentuating the bright fruit and lightly earthy character inherent in the wines produced from this High Desert Climate: “Start with great fruit and don’t get in the way of the wine becoming what it wants to be.”
Their motto: Fujishin Wines-Inspired by Passion, Distinctive by Nature. Wines include:
- Dessert Wine
- Late Harvest
- Petite Sirah
2014 – Fujishin Family Cellars – Late Harvest Riesling – Snake River Valley
12.1% alcohol SRP $20
Usually a late harvest wine is in a split, but this is in a 750ml bottle. What a deal! As you only need a smidgeon. there’s plenty to enjoy and to share.
Nose: Petrol smell right away tells us it’s riesling. Rich honey notes tells us it’s late harvest.
Palate: Sweet like candy, John says this wine is “not for drinking, it is for sipping.” But this wine “is not simply sweet, it is bold,” says Myr. It is not cloyingly sweet, it has minerality and acidity. Sweet and petrol up front, and apricot on a long lingering finish.
Pairing: As we were having cajun spiced fish tacos that night, we found it went well with the mango salsa and tames the spice, but it’s a better pairing with dessert. John wanted this on ice cream, and I could see it on sponge cake with a little whip cream and fruit. But we were in luck: Sue had made a fruit tart with a crust fill pf Indian spices that paired perfectly with the wine that she adapted from this recipe.
Curious about Idaho wine? Here’s a few of our posts:
- Koenig’s Viognier and LH Riesling,
- Williamson’s Sangiovese and Viognier,
- Moscato from Hat Ranch Winery,
- plus a Zabala Cabernet Franc for Cab Franc Day one year and
- a Cab Franc from Hat Ranch another year.
Thanks to Sue and the Idaho Wine Commission for sharing wine with me! There may be another posts about Idaho wine still in draft!
Cheers to Idaho Wine During Idaho Wine Month! See if you can find a bottle this June!
PS What’s up next? Another Rose Day! Stay tuned and subscribe for rose wines from around the world to arrive in your in box!