Tucked in the steep canyon walls of the Clearwater and mid-Snake Rivers and their tributaries lies the historical American Viticulture Area, Lewis-Clark Valley AVA, producing small batch wines that pair brilliantly with the culinary flavors of our region. Vines were planted in the Lewis-Clark Valley as early as 1872 and by 1908 40 varieties of grapes were being cultivated. Two years later, Lewiston voted a ban on alcoholic beverages and the industry crashed. Most of the wine was turned into vinegar and winemaking virtually disappeared until the late 1990s.
Today, wine lovers, and wine judges, are consistently ranking our wines among the best of the best in northwest competitions and beyond. With steep river canyons and plateaus within the AVA, it is home to the lowest elevation vineyards in the state that are successful in ripening a wide variety of wine grapes. Washington and Idaho’s historical wine region is receiving many accolades for the wine produced here, as well as recognition for being one of the best places for real estate investment in vineyards. Explore the local wineries, taste for yourself and take some home to share with friends and family.
According to tribal legend, Nimiipuu, “the people,” were created in north central Idaho at the dawn of time and they are credited for saving the lives of the Corps of Discovery explorers who entered their camp near starvation. Without the food and shelter provided by the Nimiipuu villagers, the Lewis and Clark Expedition may have had a tragic ending.
Historical and interpretive sites dot our region and tell the tales of those who came before us. Museums in the area cover all aspects of time, culture and people. From the Native American and Asian cultures, to the Lewis and Clark Expedition, history is vividly displayed. Adventure beneath the sidewalks and feel the presence of the “spirits” with Idaho History Tours in historic downtown Lewiston. Leisurely walk or bike on our miles of paved pathway to Hells Gate State Park where you’ll discover interpretive displays, scenic views, miles of trails and overnight accommodations located right at the gateway to Hells Canyon, North America’s deepest river gorge.
Lewiston, Idaho, and Clarkston, Washington, are in the Lewis-Clark Valley. To learn more, go to visitlcvalley.com.