Close to 500-acres of vineyards, 19 varietals of grapes are harvested between Sawtooth Winery and Ste. Chapelle Winery every year. With both wineries being owned by Precept Wine, Sawtooth winemaker Meredith Smith and assistant winemaker Maddy Mcgarry produce wine for the sister wineries, making for a busy upcoming harvest.
So busy in fact, Mcgarry let us know “During COVID wine sales have only increased”, you can only imagine how busy these ladies will be coming harvest season.
Both wineries overlook Caldwell with a view of one of their nearby vineyards. Going on her fifth harvest, Mcgarry took Totally Boise on a tour of Sawtooth and Ste. Chapelle’s cellar and barrel rooms. Mcgarry explained that because Idaho and Spain have the same latitude, Sawtooth is able to grow similar high-quality grapes similar to the ones you can find in the delicious Spanish wines. In 2019, Sawtooth produced 3,000 tons of fruit, and every year that number continues to rise.
During the process of winemaking, grapes are filtered through a rather large crash pad tank that separates the stems and essentially liquifies the start of the wine process. The wine is then stored in multiple tanks and transferred to French oak barrels. Wines are tested from each barrel to ensure quality before distribution. Mcgarry said Sawtooth bottles up to 1,600-2,000 cases of wine a day.
Along with having different varieties of grapes to grow every year, each vineyard produces grapes that will thrive on certain slopes within the vineyard. Many of Sawtooth’s most established wines come from the Sawtooth Vineyard, such as their Tempranillo.
Sawtooth originally planned to add yurts, a stage for concerts and a restaurant this summer, unfortunately, due to COVID-19, those plans have momentarily been put on hold. However, the tasting room is currently open for pouring and tasting. Ste. Chapelle is also continuing to host their Summer Concert Series every Sunday, just with a limited capacity so be sure to get there prior to the 1 PM concert.
Along with many other wines, our Totally Boise team got the chance to try Sawtooth Winery’s new 2019 Classic Fly Albariño, and we can all agree it’s a must-try on your next visit!
Not only was the team at Sawtooth Winery sweet and knowledgeable wine experts, but visiting the wineries gives you the perfect excuse to relax while sipping on delectable wines.
You can also plan a trip to visit the wineries through Snake River Wine Tours, check out our experience here.
Snake River Wine Tours
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