Idaho Wine Commission presents to House Agricultural Committee

Posted at 3:44 PM, Feb 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-08 19:18:27-05

Idaho's wine industry is harvesting the fruits of their labor thanks to help from the Idaho Wine Commission.

The commission acts as a liaison between Idaho's wine growers, producers and the legislature. Wednesday, the commission presented their goals for the year to the House Agricultural Affairs Committee. 

Goals include amending Idaho code to match federal regulations on the alcohol content in what is considered "dessert wine" and clarifying language for permits needed to start a winery in the state.

According to the commission, about 12 percent of all the wine Idahoans drink was produced in Idaho, but the commission says they're looking to grow their shares.

"We're here to promote all Idaho wineries and vineyards," says executive director Moya Shatz Dolsby said. "The best way [people] can do that is by buying Idaho wine, buying and asking for it. When you go out to a restaurant, ask for an Idaho wine. Do you have any Idaho wine? And if not, order a diet coke."

The commission estimates the economic impact of Idaho's wine industry is about $200 million. Idaho currently has 52 wineries and five cideries.

The Idaho wine commission is a self-governing state agency funded through the wine excise tax, voluntary assessments, grants and events.