Toast to Local Vino
Winemaker Leslie Preston, Idaho’s innovative nomad, has opened two new places for her Coiled wines and her companion label, Translations. The Coiled Winery and Tasting Room now resides on 34th and Chinden in Garden City. And this past May, the Coiled Wine Bar opened in downtown Boise on Bannock
between 8th and 9th.
Preston named Coiled in honor of the sinuous Snake River, where she sources her fruit from Nampa’s Skyline and Sawtooth vineyards. When she began in 2006, she hauled Idaho grapes to, and made her wine in, the Napa Valley, where she worked for a number of famed brands including Stag’s Leap. She admitted this was awkward and explained, “It is very nice making wine in the region where the grapes are grown.”
Her wandering winemaking operation has had many Idaho homes. She made her first wines at Bill Fraser’s in Boise, shared space with Périple, then for several years with Cinder and, most recently, with Telaya. Grateful for past associations, she relishes the independence of her own production facility in
In downtown Boise, Coiled Wine Bar is managed by Meredith Schmidt and seems appropriately sited on the artisanal block with The Chocolate Bar (which supplies candy for chocolate pairings) and City Peanut Shop. Located around the corner from Juniper, the restaurant supplies the wine bar with a pairing
menu of small plates, such as grilled peaches and prosciutto, cheese, and a delicious burrata and pesto combination that I sampled on a recent visit.
Preston is a pacesetter. Coiled Wines business manager Kelly Marx called her “fearless.” She has joined the “Riesling Revolution”; her now very popular Dry Riesling was an “uphill battle” to get into restaurants. By bringing bottles to farmers markets and directly to restaurants, she created the demand. Coiled remains a boutique winery doing about 2,000 cases a year divided among Rizza (sparkling Riesling), Sidewinder Syrah and Dry Riesling with a smaller production of Black Mamba (mainly Petit Verdot).
Ever innovative, Preston acts as a négociant buying and blending available wines for her Translations label. These wines allow her to act quickly and blend varietals that she doesn’t use in her Idaho-fruit-based Coiled wines. Her tasty Translations Rosé (from Columbia Valley Merlot) is selling briskly.
With 600 wine club members and two distinct locations, Coiled is moving forward. Marx and the staff handle sales and marketing. Everyone helps with crush and bottling. But Preston, who doesn’t want an assistant winemaker, continues to be happiest “being in the wine.”
Coiled Wines Tasting Room/Production
3408 W. Chinden Blvd., Garden City
Coiled Wine Bar
813 W. Bannock St., Boise