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David Sparks Ph.d Price of Idaho Wines
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Line on Agriculture
Date: October 20, 2017

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After a very tough winter in 2016/17, Bitner Vineyards owner, Ron Bitner, talked about some of the challenges confronting grape growers in Idaho and reflected on the price of Idaho wines. Ive kept a lot more red grapes in the barrel, so we’re releasing our 2012 vintage. So I still have my 13, 14 a light 15 and 16, so 17 and Im out. We’re okay we sell most of our wine on our deck, we’ll stay in our 1500 to 2000 case range and sell to a few restaurants in the valley. We focus on small and family and high quality wines. That works for us. Those that are locked into increasing production this is a tough year for them because they have to pay 3 times as much for the grapes this year.


Most of the red grapes are in the barrel, even for the other guys. But the ’17 vintage is really going to be light, for them they’ll have to go up and get another source of grapes. Fortunately I don't have to.


What I have to say to wine lovers in Idaho. It costs a lot to grow grapes in Idaho. We have steep hillsides and everything is done by hand, we have a lot of money into it. It cost $2000 an acre to grow these grapes. Wine connoisseurs will pay $50-60 dollars a bottle for a red or Walla Walla red, or wines are just as good but they’re used to paying 30-dollars. Especially this year, farmers need more to grow these grapes. If we’re going to have an Idaho Wine industry, people will need to get used to paying more and supporters growers in this state. Sometimes a lighter crop means better fruit flavors. The Idaho wine industry, we will survive, We’re getting a lot of attention


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