The amount of math at play in the wine industry is vastly underestimated. There are all those milliliters, liters and cases. There is sugar content (degrees Brix) to be measured. There is alcohol content, residual sugar — varietal percentages to be tabulated for your favorite blends. Not to mention the business itself.
Though all those numbers are pretty exacting, something a bit more magical happens when two wineries in Idaho spin off an existing location and move into some splendid new digs on the Boise River in Garden City. The result is a new address for an already successful urban wine district that suddenly is greater than the sum of its parts.
A growing and maturing sipping zone is emerging here, folks. Telaya and Coiled wineries have a new location, 240 E. 32nd St., right at the Boise River. When you add that to the existing winery locations of Cinder, Syringa and Split Rail between 43rd and 44th streets off Chinden Boulevard, you’ve got the makings of a mini-wine-tasting tour in Garden City, accessible by foot, bicycle or vehicle — maybe even watercraft.
Telaya and its tenant, Coiled, represent a smart and bold new development that will produce 7,000 cases of wine (5,000 for Telaya and 2,000 for Coiled) on the premises. That product will be poured at a beautiful new headquarters/tasting room/event space that Telaya owners Earl and Carrie Sullivan are opening this week. You can check it out for yourself from 4 to 8 p.m. Feb. 5 and 6 during the wineries’ public grand opening.
The Sullivans are among the most savvy, under-the-radar businesspeople making waves along the liquid side of the Treasure Valley’s culinary tourism attractions. How else do you explain having the timing and vision to develop a winery and tasting room with proximity to the area’s largest hotel, an under-construction extension of the Greenbelt (off Whitewater Boulevard) and located a short walk from all of the development going on at Boise River Park and Esther Simplot Park?
The new winery will be casually — and, I bet enthusiastically — discovered by hotel guests, bicyclists and both purposeful and accidental Greenbelt strollers. Because Telaya and Coiled are among the best wine producers in the state, the good news of Idaho wines will multiply faster in a facility that was made from the ground up for this purpose.
“In the last building we had to design the process around the building,” Earl Sullivan said, referring to the location Telaya and Coiled shared with Cinder winery until recently. “Here, we’ve designed the building around the process.”
From what I’ve seen so far of the interior and exterior, it is going to be a fun, functional and handsome place that makes artistic use of new and repurposed wood on walls and atop tables. There are tasting bars, indoor guest areas and outdoor patios where wine sippers can linger longer through the week. Though there is a time and place for rustic, wine-cellar/warehouse motifs, Telaya/Coiled is design-driven and plays off the Teton/playa (beach in Spanish) influences from which Telaya got its name.
For Leslie Preston and Ross Lamm — owners of Coiled — the new winery more than doubles their tasting room hours of operation (now seven days a week instead of mostly weekends) — and multiplies exposure to new customers. Most of these folks will be discovering a winery watering hole while engaged in some leisure activity, venturing out from the hotel or just to explore.
“From a tasting room standpoint, it’s going to be great, all that new exposure,” Preston said. “From a production standpoint, I now have totally my own workspace that I’ve never had before in my own winemaking, so I am incredibly excited.”
Besides being very good friends and business partners, the Sullivans have two boys the same ages (8 and 11) as the boys Preston and Lamm are raising. It pleases both families that they can work together under one roof in a business in such a beautiful place — and bring their boys along in the process.
Kudos to Garden City for recognizing and cultivating a wine-and-beer buzz culture. The existing wineries and brewpubs are likely to be joined by more, and more is always better math when it comes to the grapes and grains.
Address: 240 E. 32nd St., Garden City
Phone: (208) 557-9463
Hours: 12 to 6 p.m. daily (after the grand opening)
Tasting Room Fee: $5, refundable with wine purchase
Wines by the glass: $5 to $9
Telaya Wines ($17 to $30-plus per bottle): Quite a collection of reds and whites, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Mourvedre, Syrah and some red blends, most notably Turas — predominantly Syrah with percentages of Malbec and Petit Verdot; Chardonnay and Viognier. More at telayawine.com
Coiled Wines ($17 to $30 per bottle): Riesling (a dry and a sparkling style), Syrah and a red blend called Black Mamba. Winemaker Leslie Preston is developing a second line of wines in her new production space. More at coiledwines.com