As with many Idaho jokes, those digs were undeserved. The first wineries in the Pacific Northwest were located in Idaho, and the state had a nationally renowned wine industry until Prohibition closed the industry down. Prohibition came to Idaho in 1916.
In 1864 the Idaho Statesman was reporting on Royal Muscadine wine grapes that had been planted the year before. In 1872, wine grapes were in the Clearwater Valley, and just a few years later were winning medals.
Today, there are more than 50 wineries in Idaho, with over 1,200 acres of grapes planted. Idaho is home to three American Viticulture Areas (AVA). An AVA is designated by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), defining a particular geographic location. The Snake River Valley AVA was designated in 2007, and includes a couple of counties in Oregon. In 2015, the TTB established the Eagle Foothills American Viticultural Area — the first AVA entirely within Idaho’s borders. In 2016 Lewis-Clark Valley was designated as an AVA.
Too many acronyms? Forget about it and have a glass of wine.