Coiled Winery owner Leslie Preston talks about the company's expansion
Ten things (and a bonus question) to know about Coiled’s move to E. 34th Street and Chinden Boulevard in Garden City and 813 Bannock Street in Boise. Winemaker Leslie Preston gives us the lowdown on her move from a shared space with Telaya in Garden City to two new locations.
1. Why the move and why now?
When we moved into the Telaya building in 2016, we all knew two wineries would not fit under that roof long-term. We did not expect the growth and outgrowth to come this fast.
2. You’ll be losing a Greenbelt location but picking up a spot on busy Chinden. What’s your take on that?
Well, there is nothing in town as amazing as the Boise River. It cannot be beat. However, our Garden City location is first and foremost a winery. We look forward to hosting guests in our new digs, but my priority was finding a place that fits me as a winemaker. The Chinden location definitely helps us get the brand name out there.
3. What can people expect at the new Garden City winery/tasting room?
The space is small and functional. Anyone who walks in the door will immediately know they are in a winery. The barrel room is immediately visible and the overall floor plan is very open. This is the first time Coiled has been in its own space and our style is reflected throughout the building. The most unique feature of the winery is the chandelier hanging in the tasting room. It is an art deco chandelier that was removed from the Owyhee Hotel when it was renovated. It was hanging in the antique store when I looked at the building and I knew it had to stay.
4. How many cases do you produce, and will that change in the new space?
Coiled produces 2,000 cases. That is where I expect to stay, but who knows. We started a second label, called Translations, where I act as a negotiant. Essentially, I find aging wines that interest me, I blend them and put them in packaging that expresses their character. The second label allows me to sustain Coiled at a small size, which would not otherwise be cost-effective. Translations also allows me to put blending — I believe my greatest strength — to use. More importantly, it allows me to taste a range of fun and beautiful wines and put them together in a way that adds to my repertoire of wines and keeps my consumer engaged.
5. Can we look for an expansion as far as varietals, blends, special wines?
Expansion will come from the Translations brand for the most part. I plan to focus on riesling, syrah and petit verdot for the Coiled brand. However, this year my riesling vines will all be cut to the ground due to our harsh winter, so I will be working with Washington state riesling. This was nothing I expected, but it is the hand Mother Nature has dealt, so it makes me cautious in predicting what the future holds. However, I am committed to working with Idaho fruit.
6. Are you bringing in any new bells/whistles equipment?
I will do my processing at fellow wineries who own that equipment. Coiled is not big enough to justify that kind of investment. However, I have built the capability to do all other work on my own over the years. I have tanks, a glycol chiller, a pump, bottling equipment and a forklift. My forklift has a lot of scratches and duct tape on the seat, but it is all mine and I absolutely love it.
7. This is your third Garden City address in two years. What’s the attraction in GC?
Haven’t you heard? It is the place to be! So many people think winemaking is glamorous. It is nothing of the sort and that is why I love it so much. We need industrial space, we drive forklifts and we work with our hands. I love being among fellow crafters of all kinds following their dream in GC.
8. Some of the other GC wineries have become hangouts, places where food is brought in. Do you see that happening at Coiled GC?
Absolutely! Wine and food are meant to be! Coiled has become a sustainable brand because of our customers who have supported us. We are a community and we want people to feel at home when they are with us. Food is always welcome. We also hope to team with food trucks when we can.
9. Let’s talk about the Boise expansion. You are to open at 813 Bannock this month.
It is looking like our Boise opening will be May 24. We will offer a few private events before then for our wine club, but we want to make sure we are totally prepared before we open our doors.
I love Downtown Boise. I grew up here and then left for 24 years. Downtown Boise is vibrant like never before and I want to be a part of it. I feel like our Downtown is on the cusp of exploding and it has to be represented by local brands.
I am also so surprised by how many people still don’t know about the craft beverage scene in Garden City. I think our Downtown location will allow us to reach a broader audience and encourage them to venture to Garden City. It will also allow us to introduce tourists who might not make it to Garden City to the Idaho wine industry.
10. Let’s spin ahead to May 2018. How is all this going to look and play out when everything falls into place?
Life has taught me not to plan too far ahead. I am eager to open our new spaces and see where they take us. Coiled has become so much more than anything I could have imagined, so far be it from me to guess where it is in a year. I have built this brand in a way that allows me to keep my focus on winemaking, and that will always be the case. I have my hand in everything, but I also have a dedicated Coiled family who represents our vision with great passion.
Bonus question: What haven’t I asked you about that needs to be said?
I guess I would just say that we live in a pretty magical community. I don’t think Coiled would have thrived like this in very many other places. I love having a product that represents Idaho and knowing the people who drink my wines. This opportunity is unique in the wine world and I wouldn’t trade it for a thing.
Slither on over to Coiled
Garden City production/tasting room: 3408 W. Chinden Blvd., Hours: Thursday-Sunday Noon-6 p.m.
The Boise Wine Bar beginning Tuesday, May 24: 813 Bannock St., 1 to 8 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 1 to 9 p.m. Friday, noon to 9 p.m. Saturday, closed Sunday and Monday.
Details at coiledwines.com.