When most people think of Idaho Wines these days, they think of the Sunny Slope region, a rural enclave about 35 minutes west of Boise that’s home to some of the area’s most established wineries.
But there’s another “wine region” in Southwest Idaho. One that provides perhaps one of the most unique wine experiences anywhere in the country: Garden City.
This transitional city — surrounded on all sides by Boise — is transforming many of its industrial buildings into artist studios, wineries and tasting rooms. Best of all, most are easily accessible by the Boise River Greenbelt, a 25-mile tree-lined pathway that winds along the Boise River in the heart of town.
The result? The ability for wine lovers (and anyone, really) to spend the day wining and biking their way along the river, using wineries as your pit stops.
Idaho has a passion for wine and can legitimately boast 50 wineries and 1,600+ acres of vineyards.
Step 1: Get a bike.
Any bike will do. We like to start somewhere in Boise with easy and safe access to the Greenbelt. Popular spots include Shoreline Dr., Ann Morrison and Kathryn Albertson Parks, or Payette Brewing (where you can enjoy a little taste before heading off, obviously).
The Garden City Greenbelt signage program guides you to Food, Art and Recreation. “CREATE” for artists; “TASTE” for craft breweries, cideries, wineries, and artisan food products; and “PLAY” for parks and recreation areas.
Step 2: Start pedaling.
Head northwest on the Greenbelt toward Garden City. Depending on where you start, there are a number of restaurants, bars and parks that make great little “side trips.” As you pedal, you’ll follow the river and see all sorts of scenic views, including wildlife (both animals and Boiseans enjoying their outdoor lifestyle).
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Follow the Greenbelt until you get to 43rd St. You may pass a few other wineries along the way, but don’t worry, you’ll be back.
Step 3: Stop pedaling, start tasting.
Cinder Winery is the perfect first stop on the path.
At 43rd St., take a left off the Greenbelt and bike straight for multiple blocks until you hit Osage St. At Osage you will take a right into an alley which leads you to Cinder Wines. You’ll know you’ve made it by the beautiful commissioned mural on the left-hand side of the alley (and those handy bike racks on the left). Head on in the doors and into their industrial chic tasting room, where you will enjoy some of the most recognized wines in Idaho.
Cinder Wines is open every day from 11am-5pm.
Split Rail Wines shows off their quirky industrial side.
Leave your bikes in the rack and cut across the alley to Split Rail Wines, easily identifiable by its distinctive yellow-and-grey building. With a goal to “never make the same wine twice,” this is a great stop to try some truly unique Idaho wines. And an added bonus: they sell cans of wine (perfect for those bike baskets), as well as refillable growlers!
Split Rail Wines is open Weds-Sun 12-6pm.
Coiled Wines dazzles with their elegant interior and great wines.
Hop on the bike and head back down toward the Greenbelt, but this time hook a right on Adams Street and pedal a few blocks. Follow the curve on 37th Street to get to Clay Street, which you’ll take until you turn right on 34th. Coiled Wines will be waiting for you right at the corner! Home to some of the most award-winning whites (and reds) in the state, Coiled never disappoints.
Coiled Wines is open Thurs-Sun 12-6pm.
Telaya Wine Co. has a fantastic firepit on their patio for enjoying wine anytime of the year.
Now it’s time to head to the final spot, Telaya Wine Co.! Head back down to Clay, go right for two blocks, and you’ll have arrived at their front door. Head on in to their beautiful tasting room right on the Greenbelt. Grab a glass (or bottle — no judgment here), sit outside by the firepit and enjoy the beautiful view, you’ve gotten a great taste of Idaho today!
Telaya Wine Co. is open everyday 12 – 6 p.m.