Springing into wine season
There are signs of Spring all around Chicken Dinner Road. We are releasing our 2019 Chicken Dinner White and Huston Riesling to our Club Members, and in the vineyards, it’s time to prune the vines. Spring is a time of hope, new wines and awakening vines.
Speaking of new beginnings, Riesling was truly the beginning of wine in Idaho almost 50 years ago in the Snake River Valley. It was the first varietal planted in our growing region. German and French settlers planted Riesling grapes in the Lewis-Clark Valley in the mid 1800’s. Many say that because the Snake River Valley climate is similar to the Rhine valley in Germany, where Riesling originated, it was the perfect location for Riesling. In fact, the proximity to the Snake River does provide a temperate climate. The cool evenings and hot afternoon Idaho sun create the kind of long growing season that has helped Riesling thrive here since the 1860’s.
Riesling is a very terroir-expressive grape, meaning the place where the grape is grown is very evident in the finished wine. We love that characteristic of Riesling and its tropical fruit aromas, stone fruit flavors and lively crisp finish. The Snake River Valley volcanic soils and fluctuating temperatures are the backdrop of this “snapshot of place and time.”
Many Idahoan’s first wine memory is sipping Johannesburg Riesling while listening to the late, great Gene Harris on the grassy slopes of Ste. Chapelle. Today nearly all of the wineries on the Sunnyslope wine trail make a wine using Riesling grown in our valley.
Huston Vineyards Dry Riesling
Huston’s Riesling is such a versatile varietal in our line-up. It is an aromatic white wine and our 2019 vintage expresses notes of pineapple and nectarine. Past vintages have had peach notes as well as tropical aromas. The stone fruit flavors and lively acidity makes this wine a beautiful choice to just sip and enjoy on its own or as a pairing with food. Speaking of acidity, most aromatic whites, including Riesling, are higher in acidity. The cool nights signal the vine to protect the clusters from cooler temperatures by distributing acid within the grape.
When pairing a wine with a higher acidity, the goal is to create balance with foods that have salt and fat. For instance, Riesling with a lemon tart is probably too much pucker factor, but Riesling with a brie cheese appetizer or shrimp pasta dish will be lovely! It is also one of the few wines that can stand up to the stronger flavors in Thai and other Asian dishes. The balanced acidity makes our dry Riesling a compliment to many food pairings.
At Huston Vineyards, our motto is “Great Wine, Great Food, The Best of Times.” We truly believe that wine goes with food and an amazing pairing is one of the best gifts in life.
Cheers to Spring!