There’s no shortage of good food and drinking spots in Boise, Idaho. This small city is a great place to visit for foodies looking for something unique and fun to do. We particularly love wine tasting in Boise. So in this post, I will share my list of 5 must-visit wineries in Boise.
The Snake River Valley AVA, which is the main AVA that Boise’s wineries fall into, was formed in 2007 and encompasses a large area in Southwestern Idaho and two counties in eastern Oregon. The AVA currently has 15 wineries, both urban and rural.
The wineries we visited were located close to the Boise downtown core in an area called District 44, making them very convenient to visit, even if you don’t have a rental car, or want to take a taxi there and back to avoid driving.
Some helpful tips for visiting these wineries:
These 5 wineries are all within walking distance, albeit a bit of a hike. From Cinder Winery to Coiled Wines is 1.4 miles, or about a 30 minute walk.
We started our day at Cinder at 11am (the only one that opens that early), and finished around 2pm at Coiled. You could get through them slightly faster, or take even longer, if you hang out and enjoy yourself.
You won’t find any food at the wineries, so when you’re ready for a lunch refueling, try the Sandbar Patio Bar & Grill or Joe’s Crab Shack, next to Telaya. We also found a couple of taco trucks parked in Garden City.
We started our day at Cinder, because it opens the earliest of the five wineries, at 11am, plus they have quite a few white wines, which we like to try early on. It was a fantastic way to start our tour of the District 44 wineries.
Our pourer knew all about the wines and was eager and happy to discuss them with us, which is often what makes me love a winery experience. The tasting room is a huge warehouse, but it’s decorated so well that you’d think you were in an ultra-modern bar downtown.
To serve their white wines at the perfect temperature and preserve flavor, they use a keg system, which seems to be catching on among Boise wineries. They have an off-dry Riesling, a Rose, Chardonnay, a dry Viognier and an off-dry Viognier.
You might just fall in love with them all! We did. A bottle of the dry Voignier and the Small Lot Series Merlot made it into our luggage for the trip back.
Hours: Open Monday-Saturday, 11am-6pm (8pm on Friday); closed on Sunday
Address: 107 East 44th Street, Garden City, Idaho 83714 | Phone (208) 376-4023 | Website
Split Rail Winery
Split Rail Winery shares a tasting room that once was an auto mechanic’s garage. The wines they have for sale are all listed on the chalkboard at the back of the tasting room, and the tasting notes give hints about what they’re currently pouring. They focus on innovative wines and try not to make the same wine twice.
Along with the bottled wines, there is a second label called Strange Folk that is 100% kegged wine that you can buy in 750ml growlers for $12. They also sell two of their wines in cans. Each can is equal to about 1/2 bottle of wine. You can do a tasting of their available wines for $8. No appointment is necessary.
The art on the can is fabulous, as is all of their label art work. (Check out the Laser Fox and the Horned Beast wine labels for proof.) If you don’t find at least a few wines here you love, I will be surprised.
Hours: Noon-6pm (8pm on Fridays), Wednesday-Sunday
Address: 4338 W Chinden Blvd, Garden City, ID 83714 | (208) 490-0681 | Website
Telaya Wine Co.
You wouldn’t know it when you turn onto 32nd street, but Telaya Wine Company has a beautiful facility right alongside the Boise River. Aside from the fact that the building itself is stunning, there is a very nice, relaxing outdoor patio where you can sit and enjoy your tasting, or even just purchase a glass of wine and hang out. And there’s tons of space both upstairs and downstairs.
They have a great line up of wines including a Semillon that I found particularly tasty, a Chardonnay, a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Mourvedre. Plenty of choices. We happened to be doing our tasting with someone who didn’t care for red wine and they were able to easily accommodate her with their white wines.
Hours: Monday 12pm-7:30pm, Tues-Sun 12pm-6pm
240 E 32nd St, Garden City, ID 83714 | (208) 557-9463 | Website
One of our favorite wineries in Boise is Coiled. They have two tasting rooms. One is located among the other wineries on Chilton Blvd and the other is located downtown. You can visit either, though they both have different opening hours (so be sure to check first). The staff is very proficient, rushing around with bottles, expertly remembering where in the line up everyone was, and always pouring with a smile.
I particularly love their Syrah. No surprise, because Coiled focuses heavily on Syrah and Syrah-blend wines. Their wines (and the winery itself) is named for the Snake River AVA, where all (most) of their grapes come from. They have a dry Riesling, a Syrah blend called Sidewinder , a Petit Verdot blend called Black Mamba
a unique sparkling brut Riesling called Rizza, a Chablis-style Chardonnay, and a Petite Sirah from grapes grown in Calistoga, CA.
Hours: Noon-6pm, Thurs-Sun
Address: 3408 W. Chinden Blvd. Garden City, Idaho 83714 | (208) 820-8466 | Website
Downtown tasting bar: 813 W. Bannock St, Open Tues to Sat 3pm – 10pm
The star of this winery is their Jalapeno Wine that’s just the right kind of spicy. Yes, it has a kick, but in a good way. Their jalapeno wine lemonade, which is sold in a pouch, is incredibly good. It’s a bit less spicy than the wine, and is the perfect unique drink to take to a barbecue or summer party.
The Potter Wines tasting room is located on Chinden Blvd. They have been making wine since 2012 (and as a hobby since 2007), but the tasting room opened in 2018. They make more than just jalapeno wine, so you’ll want to drop by their tasting room for a sample of their Cabernet, Syrah, and Chardonnay.
Hours: Mon-Wed by appointment; Thurs 2pm-7pm, Fri 2pm-7:30pm; Sat 11am-7:30pm; Sun 12pm-5pm
Address: 5286 W Chinden Blvd, Garden City, ID 83714 | Website
There are more wineries to visit in Boise, Idaho, than just these 5 in Garden City. You’ll have to go a bit farther afield to get to them, but you will be rewarded with a more rural experience along the Snake River. The most notable in that area are Ste. Chapelle Winery, Sawtooth Winery, and Snake River Winery, though there are a handful of others.
We were able to try many, if not all of those wines at the Savor Idaho food and wine event (watch our video of the event) that we attended in Boise, but to visit the wineries themselves will have to wait for another day. For such a new AVA, the Snake River Valley is producing some really great wine and putting Idaho wineries on the map.
Where to Stay in Boise
If you’re planning a wine or beer trip to Boise, or just want to check out the incredible food this area has to offer, we recommend staying in the Downtown area to keep things simple. You can walk to a number of wineries and breweries, and dozens of restaurants from the boutique Hotel 43, on Grove Street. Not only is the location great, but the rooms are classy and nice and the service is great.
(Thank you to Southwest Idaho Travel Association (SWITA) for inviting us to visit Boise, Idaho, and sponsoring our trip. As always, all of the opinions and thoughts shared here are our own.)