Lewis-Clark Valley

Journey Through the Historic Lewis-Clark Valley, where the Northwest’s first vines were planted.

The Lewis-Clark Valley, named after the explorers, is the birthplace of viticulture in Idaho and the Northwest. Despite this long history, it only became an AVA in 2016.

It showcases a rich diversity of grapes, from cool climate Pinot Noir to heat loving Cabernet Sauvignon, thanks to the diversity of microclimates within its steep, picturesque canyons.

This unique region straddles the borders of Idaho and Washington and was carved by the majestic Clearwater and Snake Rivers and their tributaries

Vineyard at Colter’s Creek Vineyards in Lewis-Clark AVA.

Geography and Climate

Located at the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater rivers, the Lewis-Clark Valley features the state's lowest elevation vineyards, creating a warmer climate ideal for viticulture. The area experiences a wide range of annual rainfall, from under 10 inches to over 20 inches (250-500mm), contributing to a varied climate. These conditions, combined with its steep canyons, extend the growing season, mirroring those of Washington's Yakima and Walla Walla Valleys.

The variation in elevation, temperature, and rainfall throughout the AVA supports a variety of grape types, ranging from early-season Pinot Noir to late-season varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon.

Soil composition here is dominated by Loess and Mollisols, with Loess formed from the retreat of ancient glaciers, enriching the terrain with deep, loamy soils that foster the development of softer tannins and fuller, fruit-driven wines.

Quick Facts:
  • Major Varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Chardonnay, Riesling.
  • Vineyard acres: 100 acres (40 hectares)
  • Established: 2016
  • Elevation: Below 2000 feet (600 m)
  • Rainfall: 10–22 inches (250–500 mm)
  • Spans Idaho and Washington
  • There are approximately 10 wineries here.