Monday, 31 March 2014 16:46

Salmon River Wine and Viticulture Conference - January 29, 2014

The keynote speaker for the conference was Dr. Essie Fallahi, Director of Pomology and Viticulture, University of Idaho.

Among Dr. Fallahi's many accomplishments:

Vice President of the American Society for Horticultural Science

President of the American Pomological Society

Recipient of the Governor's Award of Excellence for Discoveries in Fruit Research

Declaration of his Birthday as Dr. Esmaeil Fallahi Day in Idaho by Governor of Idaho (Governor Risch)

Editor of 12 Scientific Journals in the US and other countries in the World

Nominated for the World Fruit Commissioner

Author of over 350 papers & 100 book chapters

Invited Speaker to Spain, England, China, Iran, Australia, Brazil, Chile, FRance, Korea and other countries

Dr. Fallahi has both a personal website and a University of Idaho faculty page with extensive information on both.  Dr. Fallahi presented on the growing of grapes and other fruit.  He answered many questions after his presentation and took time to talk individually with attendees during lunch.  Essie said that he believes the Riggins area has a great micro-climate that would offer unique potential as both a place to grow quality grapes and a uniquely beautiful place to visit.  His suggestion to the attendees was to work to create a niche market instead of trying to be a large market presence.  He greatly enjoyed the beauty of the area and was excited about the potential of the area to produce world class fruit.  Dr. Fallahi suggested that in addition to growing wine grapes, people in the area should consider growing table grapes and other fruit.  Table grapes in the state of Idaho have quickly grown to be a multi-million dollar industry.  He showed many examples of the the ways the Parma research station has developed to accelerate the maturity of fruit bearing plants.  Many trees were able to produce crops within a few years as opposed to the normal 7-10 years.  Essie offered to share in more detail information with those who wanted to pursue growing fruit locally.

The handouts Dr. Fallahi gave out on "Yield, Quality Attributes and Degree Day Requirements of Various Wine Grapes under Climatic Conditions of Intermountain West Region" and "Influence of Wine Grape Cultivars on Growth and Leaf Blade and Petiole Mineral Nutrients" can be downloaded here.

Presenter - Tom Elias, Tundra Acres

Tom Elias is the Founder of the Idaho Table Grape Industry, a Research Associate of Pomology and Viticulture for 20 years, was President of the Idaho Table Grape Association for 4 terms and is a distributor of grape materials in Idaho.  Tom spoke extensively about how to start growing grapes, what it takes to maintain a vineyard and what resources are available for those interested in growing grapes.  Tom offered to return to Riggins and White Bird to show people how to start planting their grapes. He also spoke about how to select which grapes to plant. Tom owns Tundra Acres in Marsing and can be reached at either Tundra Acres, 7785 Sommercamp Rd., Marsing ID, 83639 or (208) 899-9148.

Presenter - Richard Spencer, District Conservationist, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

Richard Spencer is the District Conservationist from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in Grangeville.  Richard shared with the group the resources available through his office including soil and water, specialty crop production, financial assistance, technical assistance, incentive programs and more.  Richard can be reached at (208) 983-1046 ext. 109 or his office located at 102 South Hall, Grangeville, ID.  Information on resources, the NRCS and the Idaho County Soil and Water Conservation District can be found online at  Some of the handouts that Richard provided included:

Specialty Crop Program

Environmental Quality Incentives Program

Low Cost Irrigation System - Small Scale Solutions for Your Farm

Tips for Stretching Short Water Supplies

Wildfire Recovery Tips for Idaho

Living on a Few Acres

Kelly Dahlquist from the Clearwater Economic Development Association provided information on business resources.  Her presentation included information on:

Loans and business development technical assistance provided by Clearwater Economic Development Association (CEDA).  The head of the Business & Finance Division of CEDA is John Lane who can be reached at either or (208) 746-0015.  You can find detailed information about CEDA's business and finance services online at

Resources for small business development provided by the Small Business Development Center that include:

Small Business Consulting - FREE

Research - Feasibility, Financing

Workshops and Networking

Raising Capital

Business Planning

Business Referrals

Additional information on the Idaho SBDC can be found online at or by contacting Barbara Leachman at (208) 792-2440 or

SCORE, a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through educatio nand mentorship. Simon Mahler, a SCORE Counselor from the Tri-Cities SCORE chapter, offers appointments in Lewiston and can be scheduled with CEDA by calling (208) 746-0015.

Agricultural Resources for Loans and Technical Assistance including:

Idaho Soil and Water Commission - Resource Conservation and Range Development Loan Program

State of Idaho Agriculture - ISDA Financial Resources and Specialty Crop Grant Resources

USDA Rural Development - Loans, Grants, Cooperative Programs and Technical Assistance

Idaho Climate Summaries

Follow this link to Kelly's Handouts.

Melisa Bryant with the Ida-Lew Economic Development Council presented information on the Idaho Wine Commission, Walla Walla Community College, Considerations and Resources for Vineyard Establishment in the Inland Pacific Northwest and Upcoming Events.

Idaho Wine Commission 

Idahos Leading Varieties

Growth of Idaho Wine

Idaho is a small but growing wine region with the natural resources to sustain world-class vineyards and wineries stretching from North Idaho down 500 miles to the Snake River Valley.

Idaho's warm climate, well-drained soils and direct access to water sources provides Idaho the key ingredients for fruit-forward wines with good structure.

"Since 1984, the Idaho Wine Commission (IWC) has been the information and education source for Idaho wine to market all Idaho winegrowers.

The IWC stimulates Idaho's economy and encourages the community to support Idaho wine and over 50 of its wineries.

The number of Idaho wineries has grown more than 400% in the last decade and enjoying Idaho wine supports local growers, winemakers and a wide range of other jobs througout the local economy, enabling the industry to continue its growth and reach."

The Idaho Wine Commission offers technical assistance and marketing efforts to Idaho's vineyards, winemakers and wineries.



BOISE, Idaho — California has Paso Man . Washington has The Recommendeuer . And now Idaho has come out with a hilarious video that pokes fun at its famous potatoes while also promoting its scrappy wine industry.

The Idaho Wine Commission‘s video, “Idaho … More Than Just Wine,” was released late last week and has the entire West Coast wine industry buzzing.

“Oh my god, I just loved it,” said Jamie Peha of Paha Promotions  in Seattle. “I now have an interest in going to Idaho, whereas before I did not.”

Moya Shatz Dolsby, executive director of the Idaho Wine Commission, came up with the concept in August. The idea was to produce an Internet video that would facetiously point out that Idaho is about more than the wine industry – it has beautiful outdoor recreation and potatoes, too.

“I was really happy with how it turned out,” Dolsby said.

Idaho Grape Growers & Wine Producers Commission, 821 W. State St. Boise, ID 83702

Phone: 208.332.1538  \  Fax: 208.334-2505

Online at  | Email:

Idaho Wine Industry Fact Sheet

Walla Walla Community College

Walla WallaInvitation from Dr. Steven VanAusdle, College President:

Tour Walla Walla Community College:

žViticulture and Enology programs


žWinery Incubators

žWine makers dinner

žDiscounted Accommodations

žPresentations by Experts

Late Spring 2014 w/ potential to arrange follow-up meeting.

Walla Walla Enology and Viticulture Programs - Download the Program Flyer:

Considerations & Resources for Vineyard Establishment in the Inland Pacific NorthwestPacific Northwest ResourcesžVineyard Economics

Permits and Regulations
žSite Suitability
žVineyard Establishment and Management Practices
žIdentifying, Ordering and Obtaining Plants
žInternet Resources

Upcoming Events

Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers 2014 Annual Meeting and Trade Show - February 5-7, 2014

Producing High Quality Table Grapes - February 8, 2014

Idaho Wine Commission Annual Meeting - February 18-19, 2014

"From Growing Grapes to Selling Wine" - Coco Umiker, Clearwater Canyon Cellars

The final presentation of the day was given by Coco Umiker, co-owner of Clearwater Canyon Cellars and Umiker Vineyard with her husband Karl Umiker.  Education paved the way for success at Clearwater Canyon Cellars. Karl earned an undergraduate degree in Chemistry from the Univerisy of Arkansas and a Masters in Soils from the University of Idaho. Coco earned undergraduate degrees in Microbiology, Molecular Bilology and Biochemistry from the University of Idaho and a Ph.D. in Food Science from Washington State University.  Their education allows them to truly understand grape growing and wine making.

Starting in 2002 they joined a group to brainstorm about strating a winery in the Lewis-Clark Valley.  In 2004, Coco and Karl were among four couples that originally founded Clearwater Canyon Cellars. For the first three vintages the winery operated out of a garage in the Lewiston Orchards. They produced their first commercial wine, the "2004 Renaissance Red," a blend of about 100 case with grapes harvested from the Horse Heaven Hills AVA in Washington. They have produced a Renaissance Red every year since, recently releasing their 6th vintage, the "2009 Renaissance Red." The first of their local grapes were harvested in 2005 to produce a Merlot made entirely from grapes grown at Umiker Vineyard in Lewiston. Since then, they have produced many blends and stand-alone varietals with grapes from the Arnett Vineyard in Clarkston, the Umiker and Ellis Vineyards of Lewiston, the Riverbend Vineyard in Peck and a couple of smaller, local vineyards.

In 2007 they made the move to a commercial location in the Port of Lewiston, where they are located today. Then in 2010, after years of many great vintages, the founding members of Clearwater Canyon Cellars went their separate ways and encouraged Coco and Karl to continue. Driven by their desire to work together each day toward the goal of producing ultra-premiumwines from Lewis-Clark Valley fruit, they now solely own and operate Clearwater Canyon Cellars. They are inspired to bring notoriety back to the valley as a world-renown area for making award-winning wines.

Coco presented on their experiences as vineyard and winery owners.  She offered to provide consultation services on starting a vineyard or winery.  Coco and Karl Umiker can be reached at:

Clearwater Canyon Cellars, 1708 6th Avenue North Suite A, Lewiston, ID 83501  |  (208) 816-4679  |


Last modified on Thursday, 03 April 2014 15:03

Contact Info

for assistance please contact:

Ida-Lew Economic Development


Phone: 208.983.8302


300 W. Main St. Ste 201

Grangeville, ID 83530

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