Idaho's wine industry makes video playfully promoting Idaho as a wine state

A new video from Idaho's wine industry tries to debunk a myth about a certain Idaho agricultural product.

"It gets tiring," a bearded man says to the camera. "Everywhere I go people just assume I make wine. They say things like, 'Oh, you're from Idaho. You must work at a winery.' ... Truth is, I'm a potato farmer."

The tongue-in-cheek video cuts to a brown-haired woman describing her struggle, as an outfitter, to convince wine-happy tourists to take a chance on Idaho's rivers and outdoor activities. She sulks outside a wine bar, looking through a window at people wearing berets and sipping glasses of red.

The video "Idaho: More Than Just Wine!" was created by the Idaho Wine Commission. The commission used $7,000 from a recent grant to hire the Boise company Rizen Creative to make a video.

"You guys, we need a wine video, and whenever I travel, people make potato jokes," Moya Shatz Dolsby, executive director of the wine commission, told the marketing and production team. "The [Idaho] Potato Commission has done a phenomenal job, so let's play off it."

She asked the team to play off Idaho's well-known rivers and outdoors, too.

Rizen worked with local actors Aaron Kiefer and Lisa Hawkes and local videographer Travis Swartz, shooting over a day and a half in late October.

Katie Meyers, account manager for Rizen, knew the video "had to resonate, break through all the video clutter out there — something that was memorable and funny," she said.

The commission plans to enter the video in a contest this August for Wine Spectator magazine.

Since the video went live on YouTube in mid-January, Dolby has been addicted to watching the number of views climb into the thousands, she said.

Idaho Potato Commission CEO Frank Muir hadn't seen the video — he'd only heard about it — when the Statesman called him to ask his thoughts on Idaho's wineries riffing on the famous spud.

With a reporter hanging on the phone line, Muir watched the video on his computer. There were chuckles. And a belly laugh or two.

"That's cute," he said. "I think it's a great parody."