The Sunnyslope Wine Trail is where the West and wine country collide. Located just 30 minutes from Boise, the Sunnyslope Wine Trail is part of the Snake River American Viticultural Area (AVA) and boasts 17 wineries and vineyards – and counting.
The Snake River wine region is on the same latitude as the Rioja region in Spain and Rhone Valley in France. Long hot days and cool summer nights, four beautiful seasons, layers of ancient volcanic soil, and an abundant water supply from the mighty Snake River all lay a unique foundation for this award-winning wine region.
Many Sunnyslope wineries are family-owned and operated, with vineyards planted on land that has been in families for decades. Their generational knowledge combined with a relaxed vibe makes for a tasting experience that will have you coming back for more.
Laid-back, refreshing, surprising and scenic are just a few ways people describe this section of Idaho wine country. Take a day trip along Sunnyslope Wine Trail and you’ll see why Idaho wines have people buzzing across the country.
HOW TO GET THERE
The Sunnyslope Wine Region is less than an hour from Boise. There are two ways to get there: Book a wine tour or drive yourself.
Wine tours are the easiest way to experience Idaho wine country, especially if you don’t have a designated driver. Typically, your driver will pick you up at a predetermined location in Boise and bring you to 3-4 wineries for about an hour or so each, then bring you back to the pickup location. Most tours offer half-day or full-day trips and range from $85 to $140 per person. Here are some well-known tours:
Drive yourself out to wine country and enjoy the views. From Boise, head West on I-84 toward Caldwell. Take exit 33 to ID-55 toward Marsing for a straight shot to the main part of the Sunnyslope Wine Trail. There are half a dozen wineries located right off the highway. However, depending on which winery you are headed to, you may need to take a different exit off I-84.
Road tripping from another state? Find driving directions to the Sunnyslope Wine Trail here.
Chances are you’ll fall in love with at least one wine while on a Sunnyslope day trip. The good news is you can bring it home with you – for free! Fly with Alaska Air and you can bring your first case of Idaho wine aboard for no cost whatsoever.
WINERIES TO VISIT
There are many great winery options on the Sunnyslope Wine Trail. For a complete list of options, click here.
Named after the HAT Ranch family homestead, established in 1902, HAT Ranch Winery honors their pioneering heritage. You’ll know you’ve arrived at HAT Ranch when you see hats perched atop vine posts. Spend an afternoon sipping award-winning varietals, rosé and Tempranillo in the cozy tasting room and patio overlooking the vineyards and Owyhee Mountain range.
Go for the great wine, stay for the amazing views. Founded in 1995, Koenig Vineyards has a beautiful tasting room and expansive patio overlooking the Snake River Valley. The winery specializes in big bold reds, like the cabernet sauvignon or the Reserve Estate blend, and makes Port-style dessert wine using spirits from the Koenig family distillery. Koenig operates with minimal intervention in the cellar and traditional winemaking methods to create Old World wines with a modern flair
Ste. Chapelle and Sawtooth wineries are nextdoor neighbors and share the same winemaker, Meredith Smith, who regularly creates award-winning wines for both operations. Ste. Chapelle is the oldest and largest winery in the state. It opened in 1975 and was the first winery to open after Prohibition. Both wineries have beautiful tasting rooms, scenic patios, small plates, snacks and charcuteries for purchase and serve outstanding wines that you may not be able to find elsewhere.
Inspired by the family-centric European lifestyle, Kindred Vineyards is rooted in bringing people together for great wine and good conversation. Visit the vineyards and indoor/outdoor tasting room to hear the stories behind each label, taste a variety of delicious wines, and try their amazing homemade wood-fired pizza. Kindred also has Mother Earth Beer on tap and kid-friendly non-alcoholic Italian sodas. The tasting room and patio offer tastings, bottles and build-your-own charcuterie boards.
Many Sunnyslope wineries will also allow visitors to bring a picnic-style lunch for their visit.
Before you go, check Facebook as a lot of the Sunnyslope wineries host special food truck events so you can enjoy a tasty bite alongside your wine flight. You could also pick up a delicious boxed lunch from Certified Bakery and Cafe in Hyde Park before you drive out or swing by the Orchard House in the heart of Sunnyslope wine country for a slice of pie and a sandwich.