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Hells Canyon Winery

Hells Canyon Winery When Steve Robertson first saw the property off Chicken Dinner Road that would become Hells Canyon vineyards, he was totin' a gun. Ducks and geese were noisy in the sky overhead, but Steve wanted a pheasant. His trusty labrador, Savvy, flushed a covey of quail before they kicked up a colorful cock pheasant. This kind of Idaho experience was a welcome escape from the busy restaurant Steve created in Boise after college and a fifth year at the Culinary Institute of America. What a bonus to realize that this same country could also produce remarkable wines from vinifera grapes. Hells Canyon vineyards were planted in 1981 on the sunny slope above the banks of the Snake River, overlooking the Owhyee Mountains. It is the oldest Idaho vineyard for wine grapes and is made up of Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvingnon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Syrah varietals. The elevation at the site is 2700 feet. The protected Treasure Valley is also influenced by marine air flowing from the Pacific along the Columbia and Snake rivers which moderates the mountain climate enough for vinifera. Acient volcanic soils contribute good drainage and trace elements and also allow for deep root penetration. The big Idaho sky is full of sun that means ripe fruity flavors. Natural acid balance is achieved during the cool ripening month of September when temperature differences between daytime and nighttime bring on the sugars and keep in the acids. Hells Canyon wines are made in the traditional manner of fermenting in small oak barrels. Steve Robertson trained as a chef, but he realized he could raise grapes where the pheasants, quail, ducks, and geese roam, he sold the restaurant and started making wines to go with food instead. Hells Canyon wines reflect the character of the geography and are always made as food wines.

From Boise, take Interstate-84 to Exit 35. Turn north at stoplight. Turn left on Karcher Road (Highway 55). Take a left at Riverside Road, where Saxton's Fruit Stand is on the corner. Continue over the dam to Symms Road, turn right, and proceed one mile. Hells Canyon Winery is on the left.

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Address Web Social
18835 Symms Road, Caldwell, ID, US, 83605 Email:
Phone: 800-318-7873 Web:
Fax: 208-454-3303
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  1998 Cabernet Sauvignon
  1999 Cabernet Sauvignon
  1999 Chardonnay Reserve
  2000 Chardonnay
  2000 Chardonnay Reserve
  2000 Merlot
  2001 Syrah
  Bird Dog White
  Retriever Red


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