Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Reading, Writing & Wine: Idaho Wine: Prime Time to Explore This State's Vin...

Reading, Writing & Wine: Idaho Wine: Prime Time to Explore This State's Vin...: This post first appeared on the daily wine blog Terroirist. People make wine in all 50 states. You’ve probably heard this before and thou...

Much better report on Idaho wine than that crazy post done by Newsweek 6-8 years ago. GREAT JOB IDAHO Growers and Winemakers.

Interesting to see that the Malbec grape did so well.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Basquing In the Sunset

Wine is an extension of food it is not another spirit or another beer it is the expression of the soil, the local terrior in which one lives. Those true experiences,  the ones which are not easily forgotten are those in which Great Wine is paired with Great Food and mingled with Great Friends, those are the Best of Times.

 Southwest Idaho is steeped in rich Basque heritage, a people of  deep roots certainly appreciating what is comprised of the Best of Times.

Come partake of that experience in Southwest Idaho along the Sunnyslope Wine Trail at Huston Vineyards and experience 5 Great Wines, paired with 5 courses all prepared by a  Basque Chef, a dining extravaganza, with entertainment from the Basque dancers, all while watching the sun set during the harvest season....beautiful.

    Location: Huston Vineyards, Southwest Idaho
   Address: 16473 Chicken Dinner Road
   City: Caldwell ID
   Time: 6:30 pm
   Date: September 20th, 2014
   Cost: $75 per person
   Attire: Country Outdoor, Bring a Jacket it will cool down in the evening
  Tickets:  208-861-8511


Gregg and Mary

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013 - A Bountiful Harvest!

I was reading a little history of Thanksgiving recently and thought that the Pilgrims must have been "glass half full" type of people.  According to many sources they rejoiced and gave thanks to God for their first harvest and year of survival in the New World.  No doubt the first year in America was filled with adversity, illness and encountering hostility.  However, as customary in Europe, the Pilgrims made the choice to be thankful  for their blessings and prepared a feast in celebration.     

When I reflect on the 2013 growing season, although not quite  1621, we encountered some adversity as well.  Our vineyard and those we contract with endured sub-zero temperatures in January, a late Spring frost, a hot dry summer and September rains.  Not quite a textbook year.  We harvested some varietals early, left others to hang longer and adjusting our tonnage in anticipation of bringing the fruit into the winery. 

I have seen enough harvests to know that no two growing seasons are alike.  Yet experience reminds me that the glass truly is half full and I anticipate great wine from our 2013 vintage.  So with a glass half full, a toast...As Charles Dickens once said " Reflect on your present blessings, Of which every man has many.  Not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.  
Hope to see you at our Thanksgiving Barrel Tasting on Friday, Nov 29 thru Sunday, Dec 1 from 12 noon to 5 pm.  Cheers!

Friday, September 6, 2013

September along the Sunnyslope Wine Trail...

It is an exciting time to be in the wine country.  Perhaps the most anticipated time of year as we watch the grapes ripen and hope for a wonderful harvest to come.

We have some very exciting events during September and invite you to be a  part of the fun!

Saturday, September 14, 2013
Join us for our 2012 Chicken Dinner Red Release Party.  We will have Saint Lawrence Gridiron Food truck along with music on the lawn.  Winery opens at noon, music starts at 1 pm

Sunnyslope Wine Trail Festival, September 20, 21, 22, 2013
One of our most favorite events all year long.  Three days of wine, music, food and fun.  Huston Vineyards has some great activities to participate in.  Please join us:
Friday and Saturday 12-5 pm.  Regular tasting hours at the winery.  Saturday, during the day, we will have music by Freudian Slip and Free Range Pizza Food truck.  Stop in and sample our wines and enjoy a glass on the lawn. 
Festival Tickets are available at Huston Vineyards.  Price is $30/person or 2 for $50.  Tickets allow complimentary tasting fees at the wineries, discounts to special evening events and discounts at the tasting rooms.  For more information contact Mary at 28.861.8511

Friday Night - Let's call it a Pre-Function for Harvest.  A new event for us! Join us for a hay ride to the vineyard and wander through the grapes  or listen to a brief discussion of Vitas Vinifera from bud break to harvest.  Then journey back to the winery for a delicious picnic and music by Wayne White.  Seating is limited.  Tickets are $40/person or $35/ person for Sunnyslope Wine Trail Festival Ticket Holders and Wine Club Members.  Reservations required, contact Mary at 208.861.8511 for details


Saturday Night, September 21, 2013  Basquing in the Sunset Winemaker Dinner
By far our most popular event last year.  Guests will be treated to 5 courses of amazing Basque cuisine along with Huston Vineyards wine.  Watch as Chef Dan Ansotegui creates Paella before your eyes.  Special guest appearance by the Onkari Basque Dancers.  Music by James Barrett.  Tickets are $75/person or $70/ person for Sunnyslope Wine Trail Festival Ticket Holders and Wine Club Members.  Reservations required.  Call Mary at 208.861.8511.

Sunday, September 22, 2013 Welcome the first day of Autumn by joining all of the Sunnyslope Wine Trail Wineries at Ste. Chapelle for the last concert of the season.  Taste, and buy by the glass or by the bottle Huston Vineyards wines while listening to 4 bands.  Your Sunnyslope Wine Trail Festival  ticket gets you in for free.  You can purchase tickets at the gate for $20/person or 2 for $35.

Need more information?  Check out our facebook page at or the Sunnyslope Wine Trail facebook page at

Friday, June 28, 2013

Summer in Full Bloom

Huston Vineyards Cabernet Fruit Set
"Farming is a Profession of Hope"
Brian Brett said it best with this statement.  At Huston Vineyards we have weathered the cold temperatures of Winter and endured the late hard frost of Spring and alas as the Summer heats up we have Fruit Set.  Daily from this point forward the grapes will continually grow and ripen in anticipation of a bountiful harvest.  
The longer I am in this business, I grow more fascinated at what each years harvest will bring.  The names on the labels don't change from year to year but the growing conditions do.  The changes in weather make each years vintage alive and interesting and something to study and appreciate. 
And so we hope, hope for a long hot summer and a reasonably warm Fall and as we wait harvest, we invite you to visit us, check out our vineyard and try our wines. 

Friday, April 5, 2013

Spring is Bursting with Color Along the Sunnyslope Wine Trail

It's time to dust the cobweb's off your camera, your picnic basket and your sense of adventure!  Spring has sprung along the Sunnyslope Wine Trail!  The scenic drive around Lake Lowell and into the Sunnyslope area is truly spectacular right now.  The fruit trees are ablaze with color as the first blossoms of spring indicate that the harsh winter temperatures are no match for these hearty fruit varietals.  The vineyards are pruned and manicured, awaiting bud break anticipated around May 5th. 

In celebration of this special time of the year, Huston Vineyards and the Sunnyslope Wineries are sponsoring Bud to Blossom, April 15- May 31, 2013 and invite you out to enjoy our wines and majestic views.  Bring your camera and your friends!  Just 35 minutes from downtown Boise, the Sunnyslope Wine Trail is a great exercise of the senses and a great way to rejuvinate the soul!

We would love to share our wines and our friendship.  See You On The Slope We Hope!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Cold Winter on Chicken Dinner Road

Brrrrrrr, it is cold on Chicken Dinner Road!

Been asked more than a few times in the last couple of are the grapes doing with all this cold weather and will those great Snake River Valley grapes be ready to make their way into Huston Vineyards wines in 2013?

The question is real.....hovering in the low teens during the day,dipping close to 0 degrees in the early mornings, one starts to wonder how do plants, especially Mediterranean grape plants, continue to do their “thing" in these miserably cold days.

It is surprising how resilient these little producers of fruit can be  in what one would consider to be harsh conditions. If there was any real bright spot in these current harsh conditions it would be the timing of when the real cold commenced.

The little grape plant has had a relatively long period of time to shutdown since last harvest....Oct 13th… and has continued to acclimate to the cold, developing what we call ...cold hardiness. The varietals we have planted in our vineyards have relatively high cold hardiness at this time of year especially for the primary buds.....which is next year’s fruit.

Cabernet Sauvignon can incur some really cold temperatures to -8 degrees below 0 before seeing a nominal amount of bud damage of 10% or less. Merlot is -9.5 degrees and Syrah is -7. Cane damage can occur around 0 degrees and usually the bulk of small cane is pruned off in February and March. Trunk and bark damage occurs at much colder temperatures usually -10 or below. For those techie readers you can find detailed info @ the following link

The….. looks like we say our prayers and ask for a plentiful harvest in 2013. One never really knows in the farming world......but it looks like it may be okay. Sure excited to hear the  weather forecast this evening....a storm blowing in…just might rid the valley of this COLD inversion, warming the temperatures to 40 degrees.

Check back for more developing details.

Until then....don’t forget to hold your glass high and toast…..Here is to Great Wine! Great Food! Great Friends! and ultimately Great Times!


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