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Idaho wine gets $100k grant

Idaho growers and producers have been given a US$100,000 federal government grant to develop their industry.

The US Department of Commerce grant to the Idaho Grape Growers & Wine Producers Commission is for marketing, helping create new American Viticulture Areas (AVAs), feasibility studies, and mapping the Snake River Valley AVA.

A team will be led by vintner Ron Bitner and will include climatologist Gregory Jones, both of whom have been discussing the project since 2008.

‘The entire suite of projects this grant serves will help elevate the recognition and understanding of Idaho as a serious wine region,’ Jones told decanter.com.

‘Preliminary work has already identified some cooler and warmer zones.’

Work will officially begin next month with Jones’s initiation of a broad-scale ‘terroir zoning’ or suitability assessment of the Snake River Valley AVA.,

This will be done using his Geographic Information System for climate, topography, and soils, and will continue with Whitman College and Boise State University fine-tuning his findings for individual site and varieties analysis.

The commission will have a new logo designed, build an image bank of Idaho’s vineyards and wineries, market its wine in US publications, and re-design its website for a mid-September launch.

Idaho’s sole AVA is the Snake River Valley, established April 2007. It has quickly become known for its Riesling, Syrah, Viognier, and Malbec grown in its volcanic soils.

The state’s 41 wineries and 730ha of planted vineyards are mostly within the AVA.

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Written by David Furer

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