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Salute to Idaho Agriculture: Holesinsky Vineyard

Published: Oct. 14, 2021 at 4:06 PM MDT
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BUHL, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — There are many forms of agriculture in the Gem State, but winemaking is not the first thing that comes to mind. Holesinsky Vineyard hopes to change that.

Sitting on the canyon rim in northern Buhl, Holesinsky Vineyard is working to put Magic Valley winemaking on the map. For owner James Holesinsky, the idea of establishing a winery in Southern Idaho has been a family dream for years.

“My dad always said that his dad always said this would be a good vineyard,” said Holesinsky. “I kind of just took the legacy, (the) dream and took it to fruition. Now, all these grapes are all about 20-years-old and producing twice the fruit that other vineyards are in terms of tonnage.”

At just 22-years-old, James started planting hundreds of grapevines along the 60-acre plot of land just above the Snake River. Not everyone thought it was the greatest idea though.

Since then, he has seen the concept of Idaho winemaking grow like a vine.

“When I first planted all these grapes everyone thought I was crazy,” he said. “They were saying, ‘you can’t grow grapes in Idaho’, and you know we were having good success up in Boise back where there were only seven wineries in Idaho. Now, I think there is over 40, something like that.”

Those who doubted the possibility of growing a successful winery in the Magic Valley can look to Holesinsky Vineyard’s long track record of success as evidence that all sorts of agriculture belongs in Southern Idaho.

“This is our 20th year at Holesinsky Vineyard. A little breezy out today, but we are full steam ahead,” said Holesinsky. “It’s a little cold harvest this year, but we got about 10-12 tons an acre, which is a record here.”

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