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Garden City grows a new winery: It opens April 5, but you can get a taste this month

Par Terre winemaker Travis Walker started making wine in his garage and basement. Now he makes wine in a 1,300-square-foot work space and tasting room in Garden City.
Par Terre winemaker Travis Walker started making wine in his garage and basement. Now he makes wine in a 1,300-square-foot work space and tasting room in Garden City.

Garden City’s craft-beverage scene is growing again: Par Terre Winery, a boutique operation from winemaker Travis Walker and his wife, Mallory, will open Thursday, April 5.

You can sample Walker’s 2016 Snake River Valley Merlot and 2017 Washington Rosé at soft openings over the next two weekends at the couple’s 1,300-square-foot wine-making space and tasting room, 9165 W. Chinden Blvd., Suite 107. Upon opening, the Walkers will release two additional wines.

“We don’t want to be pigeonholed with one kind of wine,” Travis Walker said. “And it gives me more freedom to experiment and find my voice as a winemaker.”

The couple wants Par Terre to be an all-Idaho winery, but getting the grapes wasn’t possible after rough winters in 2016 and ’17. So for now Walker is using a mix of Idaho and Washington fruit. Whites and rosés will cost about $18 per bottle, and reds will be between $26 and $23. He hopes that future vintages will be more Idaho centric. .

Garden City has become a key part of Idaho’s developing wine industry since Cinder, Syringa and Vale opened the Urban Winemaker’s Cooperative in 2008. Forbes wine writer Ronald Holden recently wrote about the growing quality and notoriety of Idaho grapes.

The Par Terre family
Winemaker Travis Walker with his business partner and wife, Mallory; their 1-year-old daughter, Harper, and the family’s German pointer Roux. Provided by Par Terre

Along with its burgeoning arts scene, Boise’s closest neighbor supports an award-winning wine scene that includes Telaya and Split Rail wineries. Garden City also has several beer operations, including Crooked Fence and Powderhaus breweries, plus Meriwether Cider and Mythic Mead.

Par terre (pronounced par-tehr) is a dance term, that means “on the ground.” It’s a fitting name for the winery because Travis and Mallory are former professional dancers. It also evokes the idea of terroir, a wine-making term that describes how soil influences flavor.

Rose_Front
Par Terre’s labels are designed by art students at East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania, where co-owner Mallory Walker’s mother is the president. Provided by Par Terre

The couple moved to Boise when Travis Walker took a job with the Trey McIntyre Project, a renowned contemporary dance company that used Boise as its base from 2008 until it disbanded in 2014. The Walkers stayed in Boise. Travis started working at Indian Creek Winery in Kuna, where winemaker Mike McClure encouraged Walker’s dream of having his own winery.

Walker spent the past five years working in, and getting to know, the Idaho wine scene. He also earned a degree in oenology and viticulture from Walla Walla Community College, one of the top programs in the Northwest.

Dana Oland: 208-377-6442, @DanaOland

Par Terre Winery’s soft opening

Noon to 5 p.m. March 24-25 and March 31-April 1, 9165 W. Chinden Blvd., Garden City.

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