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Lewis-Clark Valley wins viticultural status, boosting Idaho wine

Ron Bitner looks over a crop of Cabernet grapes Bitner Vineyards vineyard near Marsing in this 2011 photo. Bitner’s vineyard falls in the Snake River AmericanViticulture Area, established in 2007.
Ron Bitner looks over a crop of Cabernet grapes Bitner Vineyards vineyard near Marsing in this 2011 photo. Bitner’s vineyard falls in the Snake River AmericanViticulture Area, established in 2007. Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman

Idaho and Washington wineries in the Lewis-Clark Valley gained an important marketing tool when the region receieved American Viticultural Area designation.

About 72 percent of the 479-square-mile region, nestled in the Bitterroot Mountains, falls in north-central Idaho, including area around Lewiston. The designation, which was approved Wednesday by the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, enables wineries there to label their bottles as “estate wines,” meaning that 100 percent of the grapes were grown on winery-owned land within the region.

The Lewis-Clark Valley joins the Treasure Valley’s Snake River AVA and Eagle AVA on the list of Idaho’s designated viticulture areas.

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