CANYON COUNTY, Idaho — For a lot of Idahoans, summer is all about spending time outside and if you’re trying to decide between a family camping trip or a visit to Idaho wine country, now you don’t have to pick just one.
Sawtooth Winery is now offering overnight stays in their new Vino Camping tents just steps from their Canyon County tasting room.
“This is my current baby, this is about two and a half years in the making,” general manager Kelli Meyer said.
The six fully furnished tents aim to offer a one-of-a-kind overnight experience for couples and families in the heart of Idaho wine country.
“You know, drinking wine under the stars, being able to go wine tasting during the day, enjoy dinner at night, have a concert on a Sunday afternoon,” Meyer explained. “The camp host will be here after hours when our tasting room is closed to provide you with water, food, snacks, whatever you need.”
The tents are a brand new summer addition, hoping to help the winery make up for lost time.
Last spring, the tasting room was forced to close for two months because of the pandemic, then reopened at just 25% capacity. Fast forward one year, and they’re back to business as usual.
Each campsite is set up with a cooler and a grill for those who want to pack in items for the true camping experience, but if you’re more of a “glamper”, you can order off the menu from the tasting room and explore local restaurants.
“We’re gearing it towards family-friendly, pet-friendly, so you can bring your dogs if you want, and it’s really meant for a real intimate experience,” Meyer explained. “Couples celebrating anniversaries, birthdays, that kind of thing.”
Each tent comes with a queen size beds and two or three single cots depending on the tent and the size of the party.
The Vino Camp area also features large fire pits with extra blankets and smore’s kits stocked in each tent.
Planning for the overnight features started pre-pandemic, but because of the location, things got complicated.
The wineries are in unincorporated Canyon County which is protected from development like hotels, motels, or permanent lodging structures to preserve the natural land for agricultural use. But the tents, even down to the wood decking, are entirely temporary.
“It’s not a permanent lodge or hotel,” Meyer said. “It’s very eco-friendly, it’s seasonal.”
Reservations will only be booked six months out of the year, so come mid-October they’ll be taken down and set aside until spring.
After all, it’s the agricultural surrounding that makes the site so special, even for visitors from Ada County scoping out a spot for a summer staycation.
“Experience the Ag-venture Trail, is what we call it,” Meyer said. “So you know, peruse around the orchards that are here, we recommend going hiking in the Owyhees here, there’s fishing that you can do at the Snake River right there.”
You can learn more about reservations here.