After living only an hour from Napa Valley for the majority of the time I lived in the Bay Area, I got used to great wine tasting escapades in the Napa/Sonoma area. So, when I got contacted by Jaime over at Jaime Says saying she was coming over to go to some Idaho wineries, I knew I had to go! Honestly, I didn’t know there were wineries in Idaho! I knew there were wineries in the city, but didn’t realize the Idaho wine scene was as vast as it was.

Jaime and I decided to go on the Sunnyslope Wine Trail which is less than an hour away from Boise. While there are other wine regions in Idaho, the majority of the wineries on the Sunnyslope Wine Trail are located in Idaho’s Snake River Valley and are close to towns like Caldwell and Nampa. As of now, there are roughly 15 wineries and more are expected to pop up in the coming years.

Idaho Wineries: A Day on the Sunnyslope Wine Trail

sunnyslope wine trail

How to Get Around the Sunnyslope Wine Trail

While it’s easy to drive around the trail yourself, I highly recommend getting a driver. After all, you will be tasting wines throughout the region and probably won’t stay too sober! We got to take Idaho Town Car, which is a great local company that specializes in car rentals for tours and special events. Our driver was amazing and he knew the region and our itinerary perfectly.

The car was spacious for the two of us, but if you have a bigger group you might want to see if they have larger cars or book a tour on a larger bus through Idaho Wine Tours.

Idaho town car

Stop 1: Koenig Vineyards

This winery was a wonderful place to go for our first stop. With Austrian influence, this was one of the first wineries in the region. It was started by two brothers, Greg Koenig and Andrew who grew up in Tirol, Austria and wanted to bring a little Austria to Idaho. The entire castle-like winery was beautiful and from the top of the outside staircase we could see vineyards and the rest of the Snake River Valley.

Koenig is known for starting their production with Chardonnay and Rieslings, but have since expanded into Syrah, Tempranillo, and Viognier. The tasting here was amazing and we got to meet Greg himself who now owns the winery while his brother, Andrew owns the Koenig Distillery a few miles away.

If you come here in the afternoon, bring a picnic and enjoy the outdoor, human sized, chess board or go up to the watchtower to enjoy the view. It’s a perfect spot for a nice day and even if it’s not, the inside of the tasting room is just as nice.

Koenig vineyards
Koenig Vineyards

Stop 2: Williamson Orchard & Vineyards

Williamson Orchard & Vineyards is a 4th generation family owned winery and orchard just down the road from Koenig. If you want a peaceful, down-home spot to wine taste, this is your place! Williamson Vineyards actually started as a homestead in the Snake River Valley in the early 1900’s. Here, the Williamson family, had to haul water from the river by hand to water their fruit orchards! Williamson now focuses on fruit farming and wine making and has 300 acres in vineyard, fruit and row crop. We got to meet the winemaker and eat lunch on their patio, which was wonderful!

Williamson vineyards

Pitstop: Orchard House for lunch or pie

We enjoyed a wonderful lunch on the patio of Williamson from Orchard House and later stopped in for pie! This is a quintessential Idaho restaurant to stop for a refresher!

Fujishin Cellars

Stop 3: Ste. Chapelle Winery

If you drink wine in Idaho, chances are you’ve heard of Ste. Chapelle Winery. They are the first and largest winery in Idaho and a hometown favorite. Because their production is so large, they have become pretty well known and actually produce 30+ different types of wines! I think their tasting room is a gorgeous and mimics the medieval Ste. Chapelle in France. They have great events in the summer on the lawn as well. Their wine isn’t my favorite because of its sweetness, but the experience is definitely worth it. It’s one you definitely cannot miss on the Sunnyslope Wine Trail!

St. Chappelle

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Stop 4:  Fujishin Family Cellars

Fujishin Family Cellars is one of the most unique experiences of wine tasting in Idaho for me! They are doing some extremely unique and incredible wine mixing.  One of their wines, the Amarino, was both mine and Jaime’s favorite from the whole day! The owners, Martin and Teresa Fujishin, also won the 2018 Idaho Winery of the Year award. Their tasting room is located on the main Sunnyslope road and almost looks like it’s inside an old saloon. They also have a back room where you can do private tastings with 10+ friends! Martin, the owner took us on a tour through his vineyards which was a highlight of the entire trip!

Fujishin wine cellars

Stop 5: Boise Wineries

I would probably only recommend 3-4 wineries in a day, but I  wouldn’t pass up trying a few Boise wineries. If you want to keep the party going there are some really fun wineries to choose from! I’d recommend going to Cinder Wines, Telaya Winery (on the greenbelt), or Split Rail. If you’d rather just grab some wine and drink it at a wine shop, head over to the Boise Co-Op Wine Shop and drink your wine at the Uncorked Wine Bar (they even have Chambongs)!

Other Wineries on the Sunnyslope Wine Trail:

There are a few other noteworthy places to stop while on the Sunnyslope wine trail that I recommend. Try Sawtooth Winery, Scoria, Huston Vineyards, Hells Canyon Winery or Hats Ranch.

I highly recommend checking out Idaho wine country and seeing for yourself that there are wineries in Idaho! I’d also love to hear if you’ve been on the Sunnyslope Wine trail before. Send over all your tips in the comments below!

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Where to Stay When Touring the Sunnyslope Wine Trail:

I highly recommend staying in downtown Boise and taking a car on the trail. Then you can come back and end your day at some Boise wineries or some downtown bars. Here is where I recommend staying:

Airbnb

Here are my top 10 favorite Airbnb’s to rent in Boise and most are in downtown or super close! You can also use my code for $40 off your first stay.

Budget

Hilton Garden Inn – This is in a great location downtown for the price. See current prices. 

Red Lion Hotel Boise Downtowner – This hotel is located fairly close to downtown and is great for the price! See current prices.

Mid-Range

The Grove Hotel – The Grove is right in the center of downtown and has great rooms and a beautiful lobby. See current prices.

The Modern Hotel – This is an old motel that’s been converted into a hip modern hotel. I love their cocktails and brunch! See current prices.

High-End

Inn at 500 Capitol – This is a super unique hotel and is dog-friendly! Each room has a different unique theme. See current prices.

Hotel 43 – Another new and nice hotel with a fabulous location. See current prices.

Residence Inn by Marriott – I love the location of this hotel. It my be my favorite location of all of the hotels because of it’s location to BoDo. See current prices.

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